The flagship annual event – sponsored by leading UK insurer AIG and software company infor – will bring together Britain’s leading Government politicians, senior industrialists and manufacturing leaders in these challenging political times.

With a Brexit just months away, this year’s conference “Facing The Future Together – preparing for Brexit and a changing world” will look at the post-Brexit landscape and what companies can do to future proof their business in an ever-changing environment.

A number of high-profile speakers have been lined up, including journalist and broadcaster Andrew Neil, the Leader of the Opposition, the Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP and Greg Clarke, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

By popular demand the conference will be chaired again by broadcaster Steph McGovern, herself a former engineer.

Key themes for this year’s discussions include a digital workshop with Caraline Robinson (CORR), managing director, Husqvarna UK Limited and Steve Spall, CEO of Tails.com, alongside a leadership workshop with Valerie Todd, HR director, Siemens UK and Ireland.

Looking to the future, “Generation Z” workshop will look at how to solve the problem of attracting young people into the manufacturing industry through an interactive Dragon’s Den style session where apprentices, graduates and school leavers will tell industry leaders what would attract them into the sector. Speakers in the workshop including Peter Tack, managing director of Lander Automotive, a company which boasts 50 per cent of its workforce under the age of 30.

The conference will be followed in the evening by EEF’s annual Manufacturing Dinner.

Stephen Phipson, chief executive of EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said: “With Brexit just months away, our conference comes at a critical time for industry, which has a key role to play in ensuring that post-Brexit Britain is a great success.

“This conference provides an important collaborative platform for industry and Government to work together – and it is that collaboration on what the post-Brexit environment will look like which is essential for the future success of manufacturing and industry as a whole to ensure we protect the 2.5 million jobs our sector provides across the UK.

“Going forward, it is vital we ensure that trade remains frictionless between the UK and our biggest trading partner the EU, while looking to grasp new opportunities which free trade agreements so we achieve post-EU economic and global trading success.”

Simon Gallimore, manufacturing industry UK lead for AIG, said: “We are once again proud to be a sponsor of EEF’s National Manufacturing Conference – bringing together Britain’s most influential manufacturing and engineering companies.

“We continue to recognise how important the manufacturing sector is for the wider UK economy, and we are dedicated to using our expertise in areas such as cyber and trade credit insurance to help businesses address the increasing risks they are facing, in today’s challenging economic environment and into the future.

“We look forward to welcoming manufacturers, industry leaders and Britain’s most influential politicians to the event as we come together to tackle the challenges that lie ahead and grasp the opportunities that come with those challenges.”

For more information or to register your place at the conference, visit http://www.manufacturingconference.co.uk/.