Making our future: Make UK National Manufacturing Conference 2022

4 mins read

Make UK’s National Conference and Manufacturing Dinner is back for 2022 taking place at the QEII Centre in London on Tuesday 3 May.

The theme for this year’s conference is Making Our Future, and the event provides the UK manufacturing sector a platform to hear from key industry and political figureheads, network with peers and discuss what the future looks like for the sector over the coming months and years.

The format for the conference allows delegates to hear from keynote speakers and attend a series of breakout sessions, where in-depth discussion and debates can be had around the key topics facing the sector.

The conference will once again be compered by broadcaster Steph McGovern and you will hear from keynote speakers including:

  • Stephen Phipson CBE, CEO, Make UK
  • Andrew Neil, Broadcaster and Journalist
  • William, Baron Hague of Richmond

The Manufacturing Dinner features:

  • Ed Balls, Former Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • Declan Curry, award-winning journalist

The breakout sessions for this year’s conference are:   

Net zero and manufacturing, what can we do to achieve the goal?

With the COP26 momentum and pressure building on businesses to deliver on their net zero ambitions, coupled with the soaring price of energy and wider costs to business there is a need for industry to act if the UK is to meet its net zero ambitions by 2050. Manufacturers are keen to get started on their journey to net zero by reducing their emissions by two thirds by 2035, but for the majority of businesses this will be a major challenge. Is there a one good road to net zero? Do businesses need to lean on the government’s help?  What are the leaders doing in that space? What are the benefits to the business of embracing a low carbon strategy? These are all questions that will be discussed during this breakout session. 

Speakers for the session include:

  • Rosa Wilkinson, Policy Director, High Value Manufacturing Catapult
  • Brigitte Amoruso, Senior Climate Change and Energy Specialist, Make UK
  • Howard Pickard, Managing Director, LBBC Group
  • Ava Jones, Fast Tracked Management Trainee, AESSEAL
  • Dimitrios Spiliopoulos, Sr. IoT Specialist, EMEA, AWS

Building resilient workforces and leading successful businesses

This session will explore how manufacturers can address the current and future skills gaps in their businesses, recruiting and retaining the talent they need to unlock and sustain growth. While attracting and retaining the right skills is an enduring concern for manufacturers, the numerous challenges faced by businesses currently - recovery from the pandemic, inflation, Brexit and a new immigration system - as well as longer term trends like digitalisation and environmental sustainability are shaping how manufacturers think about building resilience in their workforces.

Whether securing the right technical skills at a workforce level or equipping senior staff with management and leadership skills, this workshop will address the key challenges for manufacturers in developing their workforces in the years ahead.

Speakers for this session include:

  • Craig Prendergast, Head of HR, ABB Limited UK

Volatility vs. Efficiency - Managing Global Supply Chains

Well-functioning global supply chains are essential for the success of manufacturers in the UK. The Covid pandemic has highlighted both the strengths but also some weaknesses in supply of raw materials and inputs as well as supply chain systems and infrastructure. In addition, the UK has undergone the most significant reset of its international trading relationships which continues to evolve. Analysing these new relationships and external factors will provide greater resilience for manufacturing in the UK.

This session will look at the UK’s strengths, weaknesses as well as the opportunities and threats, which present in UK’s global supply chains.

Speakers for the session include:

  • Jonty Bloom, Freelance Journalist, Jonty Bloom Media
  • Fergus Reynolds, Director of EU & International Affairs, Make UK
  • Andrew Kinder, SVP International Strategy & Sales Support, Infor

Social Values in Defence: A Green, Diverse and Local Future

The Social Values Public Procurement Notice introduced in 2020 has fundamentally changed defence procurement. With areas such as net zero, diversity & inclusion and levelling up now an important element of buying decisions by MOD and the Primes.  During this breakout session you will discover how to create a more sustainable, diverse, equal and ultimately more competitive business.

This session will explain

  • What the Defence priority Social Values are and how they are being implemented
  • What the implications are for industry.
  • How you can create a more sustainable, diverse, equal and ultimately more competitive business.

Speakers for the session include:

  • Graham Hyndman, Director of Commercial Improvement, Ministry of Defence
  • Dr Roni Ajao, Managing Director, MRL Public Sector Consultants

A Material World

A myriad of structural and global challenges from; climate change, to resource scarcity, to fragile global chains, will fundamentally change the way we make and use materials in the future.

Decarbonising the production of the basic materials we use will have huge implications not only for material producers, like steelmakers, but also for all consumers further down the supply chain. There is an urgent need for sectors like steel, concrete, and plastic to eliminate their emissions, but also pressure on consumers to opt for low-carbon, more costly, alternatives. As demand grows for low-carbon materials grown, driven both by consumer choice and government regulations, there will be impacts on prices, availability, and supplies of raw materials.

For this breakout session UK Steel brings together a range of thought leaders from industry and academia to discuss these challenges and some of the solutions we will need to deploy.  Speakers for the session include:

  • José M. C. Azevedo, Research Associate at the Resource Efficiency Collective, University of Cambridge
  • Professor Cameron Pleydell-Pearce, Deputy Director, SUSTAIN Future Steel Manufacturing Hub


Make UK are delighted to be bringing this conference back for 2022 and can’t wait to see you all on the 3 May. Book your tickets before 15th April to secure your place. Manufacturing Management is proud to be a media partner for the event - stay tuned to our website and social media channels for more information in the run-up and at the event itself.