Manufacturing Month to celebrate NI manufacturing resilience and excellence

The initiative will shine a light on the great work, innovation and people within the local manufacturing community

By Claire Cartmill
Tuesday, 12th April 2022, 7:00 am

Manufacturing Month, a major initiative to showcase the potential and enhance the excellence of Northern Ireland’s manufacturing sector, returns this May for its second year.

Spearheaded by Manufacturing NI, the entire month of May will shine a light on the great work, innovation, and people within the local manufacturing community. A packed programme includes numerous events, webinars, lots of content from the sector, and the flagship ‘Anchor High’ leadership summit and inaugural Manufacturing Hall of Fame dinner in the Galgorm Resort on May 12.

Focused on the people that make manufacturing one of the leading sectors within the Northern Irish economy, Manufacturing Month will highlight the skilled workers, leaders, apprentices, and educators who make the sector the world-leading success story it is.

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Johnny Hanna, partner in charge, KPMG Ireland, Nigel Birney, head of trade credit, Lockton Companies LLP, John Mathers, corporate development director, Barclays, Mary Meehan, deputy chief executive, Manufacturing NI, Laura Gillespie, partner, Pinsent Masons and Stephen Kelly, chief executive, Manufacturing NI at the launch of Manufacturing Month 2022

Sponsored by KPMG, Pinsent Masons, Barclays, and Lockton Companies LLP, and supported by Invest NI and Northern Ireland’s six further education colleges, Manufacturing Month was first launched pre-Covid in March 2020 and brings together manufacturing firms, industry leaders, policy and key decision makers, schools, and young people to recognise the strengths of the sector, the great careers which are enjoyed and are possible, and celebrate the contribution local firms make to our economy and solving problems globally.

Stephen Kelly, chief executive, Manufacturing NI, said: “The first ever Manufacturing Month was cut short due to the arrival of the Covid pandemic in March 2020, so this May is an opportunity to refocus and reset after a difficult couple of years. Manufacturing Month shines a light on the people and the great firms who make the sector what it is, the people who have led by example during the pandemic.

“Despite everything that has been thrown at the sector since 2020 – Covid, Brexit, war in Europe, supply chain stresses and huge cost rises - the sector is buoyant and optimistic and poised to create more wealth and work in every community across Northern Ireland.

“As our economy and our society emerges from the Covid pandemic, it’s vital that we do all that we can to support our manufacturers. Northern Ireland is an attractive place to do business because of the talent on offer, our unique dual market access, and the incredibly creative, resilient, and brave leaders at every level in our industry. We must cherish and celebrate what makes manufacturing in Northern Ireland so great, and initiatives like Manufacturing Month are great opportunities to do just that.”

Jonny Hanna, partner in charge, KPMG Belfast, continued: “KPMG are very pleased to be involved in this year’s Manufacturing Month once again. Whether it’s aeronautical engineering, food and drink manufacturers, pharmaceuticals, or emerging industries like AI, Northern Ireland proudly punches above its weight on the global stage. As a firm, KPMG works with a number of local leading manufacturers and we are excited to be backing the sector through Manufacturing Month, an important initiative which will help inspire the next generation of sector leaders.”

Laura Gillespie, partner, Pinsent Masons, added: “Pinsent Masons are delighted to be supporting this year’s Manufacturing Month and we look forward to recognising the success and ingenuity of Northern Ireland’s manufacturing sector.

“With strong traditional links to the sector in Northern Ireland, Pinsent Masons looks forward to celebrating the abundance of talent and innovation, driving the post-Covid economic recovery, and helping attract inward investment from abroad. Manufacturing Month is a welcome occasion to shine a positive light on our great manufacturing companies, workers, and leaders. Pinsent Masons is proud to play a part in such an important initiative.”