The industrial sector covers all production, from food to household goods, making it one of the most important in any country’s economy. According to the Lithuanian Department of Statistics, vacancies in the industrial sector decreased by 1.5 thousand last year alone. This trend shows that more and more people are interested in working in manufacturing companies.
Industry representatives note that certain myths still exist both in the work environment, such as during job interviews, and in the public sphere, often due to ignorance or lack of experience in the sector. According to them, rapid technological progress and expectations of employees have significantly changed the portrait of a person working in the manufacturing sector.
UAB Mars Lietuva and UAB HELLA Lithuania, some of the largest employers in the Lithuanian industrial sector, share seven myths they face when working in the manufacturing sector.
Myth 1. An engineer’s job in industry is for men only
According to Eurostat, in 2019, more than 6.3 million women scientists and engineers worked in the European Union – 41%. the entire labor market, but in the manufacturing sector only 21% of them. Although European statistics show that men choose a career in the manufacturing sector, Lithuanian statistics dispel this myth – more than half of Lithuanian scientists and engineers are women and make up the largest part of the EU. For example, in Lithuania – 55%, while in Luxembourg – 28%.
UAB HELLA Lithuania Process technology specialist Andrius Binevičius notices that there is no shortage of women in production or engineering positions.
He is also supported by Andriejus Bajarovas, the head of the Technical Department of UAB Mars Lietuva – women not only do engineering well, but also occupy leading positions and move up the career ladder.
In recent decades, the manufacturing sector has made great strides in attracting women engineers, increasingly in management positions and in decision-making processes.
Myth 2. Engineers can only work in their specialty field
Engineers not only design but also develop a variety of structures, equipment and processes. Engineering science encompasses several disciplines; the following areas are traditionally distinguished: chemical, civil, mechanical, electrical engineering and others. According to A. Bajarovas, the head of the Technical Department of UAB Mars Lietuva, this specialty is very universal. For example, a specialist in a chosen field can change job positions and learn new things in other job positions – production planning, occupational safety or even factory management.
“Even if you are a mechanical or electrical engineer, you need to know other technical features, for example, a mechanic must understand automation and logic, and an automator must understand how mechanics works. It is also sometimes necessary to become a construction or chemical engineer”A. Bajarovas
Although potential employees are afraid to apply due to lack of experience, experts say that such fears are often unfounded.
“Some candidates admit that they applied for a production position, but did not expect to be invited for an interview because they did not have the necessary experience. However, there are positions where the candidate’s experience in other sectors can be applied in industry as well”A. Binevičius, a process technology specialist at UAB HELLA Lithuania
Myth 3. Automation takes work away from people
For many years now, there have been various fears in public that robots will take away human jobs. Although automated machines can do routine work, in industry they are just an aid to making human work easier.
Analysis by PwC has shown that artificial intelligence stimulates economic growth and creates new jobs. For example, in the United Kingdom in 2017-2037 artificial intelligence could replace about 7 million existing jobs, but would create about 7.2 million new jobs.
“Automation creates new jobs where higher qualifications are needed and higher added value is created, and salaries increase. Automation allows people to improve”
A. Bajarovas, an expert at UAB Mars Lietuva
Myth 4. Limited opportunities for improvement
A representative of UAB HELLA Lithuania states that due to increasing integration and different products, employees face new challenges on a daily basis. In addition, constantly evolving technologies and equipment do not allow to “fall asleep” – in the manufacturing sector, processes are rapidly automated, therefore, the management of new technological devices also requires specialists.
Production today requires a diverse workforce capable of problem-solving, critical and creative thinking. Highly qualified workers are becoming increasingly important in the manufacturing sector, so in order to achieve a career, the employee must be interested in the latest production trends, processes, technological solutions.
Myth 5. Manufacturing jobs are just dull work on the line
In the past, much of the production work was done manually at the assembly line. The situation today is a bit different – routine processes have been replaced by automated solutions. Production processes are fast, so most positions are dynamic.
“In reality, working on the line is essential in the factory, it makes a direct impact on quality and quantity. However, the routine depends on how much you get involved and are interested. That also affects your career opportunities.”A. Binevičius, an expert at UAB HELLA Lithuania
Myth 6. Work in a manufacturing company is dirty
Modern production companies are more like laboratories – maintaining cleanliness in them, according to A. Binevičius, is like an approach to the product: “For the customer, the factory’s attitude to an order also shows the attitude to the product. Nowadays, even in the production of lower requirements, cleanliness is extremely important. “
In addition, in order to reduce the effects of climate change, manufacturing companies are switching to “green” production by abandoning landfills, reducing the amount of natural resources needed to produce goods and seeking more efficient production processes.
Myth 7. The factory only produces
The main activity of the factories is production, but as in other sectors, marketing, communication, human resources and other specialists are also needed here.
“Production cannot be done without purchases, sales, advertising, recruitment, training, management etc. All of these processes require specialists who exist as separate companies under one roof ” says UAB HELLA Lithuania, a process technology specialist.
The largest contact fair for youth and business representatives in the Baltic States – KTU WANTed Career Days 2021 – already on October 27. This year the event will take place in a virtual space, part of the program will be broadcast live by the portal LRT.lt.