If you’re considering a career in manufacturing, it’s important to understand that you are always welcome and sure to find a great position within the sector. The manufacturing industry is so wide and contains so many different career paths that you’re certain to discover one that suits you. Whether you prefer physical work and like to get your hands dirty or lean more toward working-from-home or office-based jobs, there is something for you within manufacturing.

Skilled manufacturers at work

Because of this, the skills required to work in the industry are broad and cover just about any workplace expertise, meaning you’re even more likely to find a place in the sector that requires your skill set. Similarly, the industry is always looking for apprentices with no prior experience, further confirming that this is a career path suitable for just about anyone.

Today, we’re looking into some of the skills required to work in specific parts of the manufacturing industry to help you understand which career path is right for you.

The Different Career Paths Available in Manufacturing

As leading spring manufacturers, we understand that there is a vast amount of different career paths within our business, which means that the list of career paths in the wider industry is extensive. Here are a few examples of the types of jobs that come under the umbrella that is manufacturing:

  • Maintenance and repair. For example, these hands-on jobs could be plumbers, electricians, or computer repair technicians.
  • Welding and machine operators are two examples of jobs that come under production.
  • Health, safety, and environmental assurance. Whether protecting people, the environment, or the company, these people oversee safety aspects within manufacturing.
  • Quality assurance. For example, inspectors and quality control roles ensure everything is kept to a certain standard.

Logistics skills in manufacturing

  • Logistics. This path involves transportation, delivery, and factory management, all working to ensure the supply chain remains steady.
  • Design. As part of the manufacturing process, design engineers play a crucial part in production.

Whether you want to design compression springs, manage a factory, or ensure machines are safe to use during production, there is a role for you within manufacturing. So, let’s take a look at the skills required to complete each role to perfection.

Excellent Communication Skills

Communication skills are required in every job, but it is even more crucial in certain manufacturing areas. For example, logistics roles. Those managing factoriesneed strong communication with various people, including delivery drivers, factory staff, clients and customers, and management in other areas of the wider business. If communication standards slip, it can have a detrimental effect on the company. For instance, if a factorymanager doesn’t inform delivery drivers of a change of delivery date, it will mean that goods are not transported when needed, and deadlines could be missed, resulting in unhappy customers and a damaged reputation.

Attention to Detail
Similarly to the need for strong communication, excellent attention to detail is essential in most manufacturing roles. However, one career path that this skill is especially important for is quality assurance. Quality control workers will ensure that every stage of the manufacturing process complies with their company’s high standards. This job involves checking each stage of the production line and looking into their results, efficiency, and work practices to check if they need to improve any aspects of their work in order to keep to the expected standards.

Whilst practical skills aren’t required to work in this area of manufacturing, previous practical experience is often desired by potential employers as it provides the quality control workers with in-depth knowledge of the production processes.

Man looking closely at a metal object

Flexibility and Being Open to Change

The manufacturing industry is constantly evolving in line with digital transformations, such as the implementation of virtual reality in engineering and sustainability processes as we move toward a greener planet. Because of this, no matter which area of the sector your career falls into, you must be open to change and allow yourself to be flexible. Many companies across the industry are regularly updating their practices to improve certain departments as well as the wider sector, so change is to be expected in all aspects of manufacturing. If you’re someone who likes to be kept on their toes in their career and is excited about embracing the future, manufacturing just might be the industry for you.

Physical Skills

If you like to work on your feet and hate being cramped up in an office or your spare room as you work from home, plenty of manufacturing roles require physical movement, and you might be better suited to those. Physical skills that are often listed in maintenance, installation, and repair jobs include:

  • Strength in order to lift heavy machinery
  • Hand-eye coordination

In addition, previous experience and expertise in specific areas are sometimes required for more highly-skilled roles. For example, this could be previous work as an electrician, plumbing qualifications, or a history of working at height experience if the job requires it.

Someone working on a machine

Knowledge of the Manufacturing Industry

When you enter any field, learning about the industry is key to getting off on the right foot. When it comes to manufacturing, it’s important that you have a base knowledge of what’s in the news at the time, as well as anything specific regarding your career path.

However, if you are an apprentice, this is information you will likely study and pick up while on the job, so don’t worry too much about doing extensive research before starting. Instead, ensure you have an understanding of the company you’ll be working for and keep up to date with manufacturing news to have a general knowledge of the sector, and your employers should ensure you learn the rest while under their care.

Here at European Springs Ireland, we’re always looking for dedicated and driven apprentices and other employees to join our team of manufacturers. So whatever your current skill set is, or wherever you want to develop, we’re certain you’ll find a role with us.

Get in touch today to begin your manufacturing journey with European Springs Ireland.

Here at European Springs Ireland, we get the opportunity to work with a wide scope of industries, manufacturing and producing custom and bespoke springs, wire forms, and pressings to our clients’ exact specifications for use in a long list of applications. From the medical sector to agriculture, our range is expansive, but one of our favourites is the toy industry.

Jack in the Box toy

Yes, that’s right, springs are used in manufacturing some of the best childhood toys, including old classics such as the Slinky and new, more modern devices. So, to celebrate the festive season and show off yet another application for our versatile springs, we’re delving into some toys produced using springs that you may see gifted this Christmas.


Quite possibly the most iconic spring used in the toy industry; the Slinky. Born in 1943, the Slinky has stood the test of time and still reigns popular as one of (if not the) best spring-based toys available on the market today. But do you know how it came to be? In the early 1940s, navel engineer Richard James accidentally pushed a tension spring off his desk, and when he did, he noticed it appeared to roll before landing upright. Two years later, the Slinky was flying off the shelves. Now, it is considered a staple in the history of springs and a bestseller at Christmas, with many still gifted each year.


Pull-Back Toys

Springs can be found in many pull-back toys, providing fantastic fun for children of all ages. They’re used for racing rally cars, animals, and even launching robots across the room. Of course, we have all used a pull-back toy before and can agree that as a child, it’s exciting to pull the tiny vehicle back just a small amount and see it fly forwards, but how do springs play a part in this fun?

Well, Newton’s Third Law of Motion states every action has an equal and opposite reaction, which is precisely how a pull-back toy operates. Energy is stored in the spring built into the toy, which is then released when you let go, allowing it to ‘spring’ into action and launch forwards.

Remote-Controlled Cars

Remote-controlled cars are one of the best presents to receive and are always certain to put a smile on a young racing enthusiast’s face at Christmas. In fact, they’re often the first to get ripped out of their packaging and test driven across the mountains of wrapping paper across the floor. But have you ever wondered which springs are involved in their manufacturing?

Just like actual cars, many different spring types go into producing a remote-controlled vehicle. From motor springs that provide torque to shock springs and suspension springs, various components are used in their production.

Remote controlled car


The jack-in-the-box was once one of the most popular children’s toys available on the market and dates back as far as the 16th century. Now, we see less of the classic children’s Christmas gift, but it’s still interesting to take a step back in time and explore what went into creating the toy.

Clowns or other children’s characters are connected to compression springs before being pushed inside a box, contained with a lid, and sealed with a catch. The catch is then released, allowing the character to pop up and provide laughs (or screams).

Pinball Machines

Springs play a prominent role in the pinball machine, which dominated arcades in the 80s and 90s. Now, they can be purchased for home use and make a brilliant Christmas gift for retro lovers and children who have it all.

Spring-loaded knobs are pulled back before being released to send a ball up the playfield, dodging barriers and aiming for the target. Players must choose their spring strength to get the perfect force to reach the goal. Of course, you may think about this a little differently when you play on a pinball machine now, and perhaps you have the knowledge to beat the high score and be crowned the winner!

Pinball machine

Electronic Devices

Does the dreaded “does not contain batteries” label give you flashbacks to unplayable gifts as a child? Well, to help you remember to purchase AAs, AAAs, and other battery back-ups to save disappointment this Christmas morning, let’s take a look at how springs play a part in your battery-operated electronic devices.

When you pop in a battery, you must remember to load it correctly, matching the plus and minus symbols with what’s on the inside. Another way to remember is that the minus side must be pushed onto the spring, and the plus side has a small nub that tucks into the battery case. The spring allows the battery to sit securely inside the case and be removed easily.

As you can see, springs are all around us during the festive period. So, whether you’re watching your little one unwrap a remote-controlled car or you’re putting batteries into their many electronic devices on Christmas morning, think about the spring manufacturers like ourselves that helped create their gifts.

As spring manufacturers part of the ever-changing manufacturing industry, we’re always looking into the future to try and accurately predict advancements in order to get ahead and prepare ourselves for change, especially since we have dealt with a plethora of unexpected setbacks and unprecedented times, such as the pandemic and Brexit. 

Computer technology in a factory

So, today we’re looking into the bright future of Irish manufacturing and exploring the trends, advancements, and industry developments we believe will impact the sector overall and provide positive change. 

The Resilience of the Irish Manufacturing Industry 

Like many industries, the manufacturing sector faced a long list of struggles during the pandemic and the repercussions of Brexit. The world shifted and was forced to adapt to changes very quickly, and unfortunately, many manufacturing companies didn’t survive these global events. 

However, here at European Springs Ireland, we proved incredibly resilient, and despite the delayed deliveries, rising costs, and increased risk and uncertainty, we made it through the pandemic. 

Brexit was a little different, as the constant changing of rules, laws, and regulations made it difficult for Irish manufacturers to cope. We faced a long list of challenges, such as: 

  • Supply chain disruptions 
  • Frequent protocol changes 
  • Issues with customs

But we came through the other side, as resilient as ever. This gave us a huge confidence boost, reassuring us that we would be able to handle anything the world threw at us in the future. 

Female engineer thumbs up

Future Predictions for Irish Manufacturing 

Despite the past setbacks, we believe the future of manufacturing is bright. To explore why we have handpicked some stand-out industry advancements that we believe will propel Irish manufacturing and assist with positive change. 

Accelerated Digital Transformations 

Like every other industry, digital transformations are plentiful within manufacturing. We have already seen a variety of digital advancements in the sector, such as increased automation, removing the need for as much human work. This goes hand in hand with technology such as AI, robotics, and virtual reality in engineering, which has also increased in recent years. 

Understandably, we believe that these digital transformations will only improve and become much more advanced as time goes on. Complexity will only increase, allowing manufacturing businesses to put many of their systems into technology’s hands and providing business owners with the freedom to work on other areas of their companies. 

Digital Twin Software 

An excellent example of the acceleration of digital transformations is digital twin software. This technology gives users a virtual simulation of a physical asset, which digitally represents its performance. For example, as compression spring manufacturers, we could use digital twin software to mimic a compression spring and look at ways we can improve its performance and optimise its use in order to provide our customers with the best possible product. 

Whilst this isn’t widely used in manufacturing now, we believe it will become a staple in the not-too-distant future. This is because it can save a lot of time, the use of physical products, and space in factories that would have been used for physical testing. 

Computer communicating with humans in a smart factory

Lean Initiatives 

As industries worldwide make changes in line with their plans to achieve NetZero5050, we believe the manufacturing industry will take significant strides with lean initiative. This means reducing waste during the manufacturing process as well as simultaneously maximising productivity, which is achieved in several ways, for example: 

  • Efficiently managing your inventory. Managing inventory well means planning ahead, so not ordering too many items which will go to waste if you cannot sell them. 
  • Reducing packing materials. Whether this means decreasing the size of boxes, removing a layer of plastic, or reducing in another way, less packing is great for the environment and the workplace’s productivity. 
  • Setting waste management goals. Lean initiatives are much more likely to succeed if they have been planned out. For example, setting waste management goals may look like creating a recycling plan that allows employees to refer to and will act as a constant reminder. 

The Future of Manufacturing Worldwide 

Of course, the Irish manufacturing industry is just a small factor in the global sector, but we believe these changes will be seen all over the world. As tension spring manufacturers, we’re always at the forefront of these big industry advancements and looking to implement new tech and innovative initiatives into our work. 

We believe that after the setbacks of recent years, the future of Irish and worldwide manufacturing is bright. The advancements discussed in today’s blog are sure to make a huge impact on the global industry, and European Springs Ireland is at the forefront of these changes. 

Please stay up to date with the latest company changes and industry developments by following our blog. Here we post news from the manufacturing sector, our company updates, and information regarding our high-quality spring manufacturing services. 

Young European Springs apprentice at work

Deciding your future in your teen years is a daunting experience. You may feel pushed into a corner by peers, parents, or teaching staff, but it’s important to remember that your decision matters. So, you must choose the path that’s right for you. You can go down many routes when you leave sixth form, including university, apprenticeships, or full-time work. The best option for you will partially depend on which industry you plan to get involved in, as different learning and earning methods work best for various sectors. Apprenticeships are an excellent choice for those interested in engineering as they provide you with the all-important practical skills as well as theory.

So, we’re helping you out by exploring why we believe students should consider studying an engineering apprenticeship. We will include what an engineering apprenticeship entails and the many benefits of choosing this route instead of going straight into full-time work or university.

What Does an Engineering Apprenticeship Entail?

Various components make up an engineering apprenticeship, including:

  • Shadowing. This is when the student follows a trainer through their day to get a feel for what working life will be like for them once qualified.
  • Studying. This could be classroom or online study, but you will be expected to attend classes for the theory-based learning aspect of the engineering apprenticeship.
  • Supervised practical work. Once you get more of an understanding of the work you are expected to do, you will be supervised in completing tasks.
  • Assessments. In order to understand your knowledge and skills, you will be assessed during your apprenticeship. This could be an exam, a practical, or coursework-based, but it will help your assessor understand where you are and what you need to work on.

Young engineer and trainer

Each engineering apprenticeship is different, but whether you’re working with spring manufacturers or chemical engineers, you should expect to complete the above during your training.

Different Types of Engineering Apprenticeships

Each apprenticeship will be slightly different. Thoroughly research the company you’re applying for to ensure you are happy with the work you will complete and that you get the most out of your experience.

  • Electrical engineering
  • Civil engineering
  • Manufacturing engineering

As leaders in the spring manufacturing industry, we may be biased when we say that manufacturing engineering is a fantastic choice for those wanting to get the most out of their apprenticeship. This is because it provides you with hands-on experience in many different disciplines. The industry is so broad that you will learn and work in various environments, with the option to focus on those you prefer.

Benefits of an Engineering Apprenticeship

There are many advantages of an engineering apprenticeship. No matter which field you enter the industry through, you’re sure to reap the benefits of the fascinating and ever-changing sector. Below we have handpicked some of the stand-out reasons why engineering apprenticeships are a fantastic career choice.

Get Your Foot in the Door Early

When your school days come to an end, you’re faced with a multitude of emotions. Relief that GCSEs are over, sadness when parting with friends and favourite teachers, and possibly confusion about your next steps in life.

However, if you know you want to enter the engineering industry, an apprenticeship is probably the best route to go down. It allows you to get your foot in the door early, learn while you work, and make those all-important industry connections that will help you further down the line.

Young engineer working at a desk

Experience is always desirable for future employees,  so the earlier you enter the industry, the more likely you will be successful in advancing further down the line.

Earn While You Learn

One of the most attractive benefits of an apprenticeship is that the courses allow you to earn a wage while you learn. Full-time education can often be draining on students, and because it takes so much time, there usually aren’t enough hours in the day to fit in a part-time job. There’s a reason the stereotype of budgeting students exists, but with an apprenticeship, you can beat the stereotype and give yourself the opportunity to make a wage.

Assist the Industry With Closing the Skills Gap

No matter which area of engineering you enter, whether it be a spring suppliers, a domestic appliance manufacturing company or a civil engineering firm, you will more than likely find evidence of skills gaps when researching your field. This is due to many reasons, such as:

  • Age. The average age of engineers is around 50, which means many are close to retirement. Once these engineers have packed up their toolbags, there leaves a significant skill gap.
  • The pandemic. Covid had a detrimental knock-on effect within the engineering industry. With delays, lay-offs, and staff off sick, many engineering companies struggled with the skills gap during the pandemic, with the effects still present over two years later.

In addition, the industry has made efforts to close the gender skills gap in recent years, but the lack of female presenting engineers is still very much an issue. Engineering companies worldwide are doing their bit to ensure that the gaps are filled, and you can, too, by applying for an engineering apprenticeship.

Fantastic Opportunities for Progression

As an apprentice, you start at the bottom with no experience, which means the world is your oyster. However, during your apprenticeship, you will be encouraged to progress, given the tools you need to expand your skills (literally and figuratively), and provided with the theory you need to build on your knowledge.

Here at European Springs Ireland, we offer a wide range of apprenticeships to help the younger generation start their career and assist the industry with closing those skills gaps. Get in touch to find out more and apply today.

A steady supply chain is vital to any manufacturer’s daily operations. Consequently, new supply chain options have been created to reinforce their chains against the various unprecedented environmental, economic and political problems.

Despite the events of the past few years, many companies have managed to maintain their crucial supply chains by exploring new methods of fulfilment. This involved re-evaluating every aspect of the chain, from discovering local suppliers to new transportation methods and investigating more environmentally friendly options.

supply chain graphic

Supply chains have been stabilised for many manufacturers, but this is no guarantee for the future. The only sure way to ensure a robust supply chain is to constantly work on improving your connected chain.

Results of Supply Chain Disruptions

Unprecedented world events have put a significant strain on supply chains and threatened the productivity of many suppliers.

Supply chains have two sides, upstream and downstream, with manufacturers in between. Upstream refers to receiving items such as raw materials, and downstream involves passing on your manufactured goods and fulfilling your client’s orders.

The main challenge that harmed various supply chains was the erratic nature of upstream. Many international companies rely on raw materials from countries like China. As a result, unexpected delivery disruptions would extend lead times, increase costs and affect the chain downstream.

The transportation of goods is still struggling to recover from these disruptions. Ship shortages, port shutdowns, and shipping container shortages create potential delays for supply chains. Whether a Chinese port in a quarantined province or delays at UK’s Felixstowe port, manufacturers need to assess their resources routes for their time and cost efficiency.

These challenges revealed the importance of the international supply chain to the economy. The ripple effect of a supply chain disruption will affect every element of its connected chain and have potentially dire consequences for associated businesses.

Effective supply chain management is crucial for spring manufacturers who wish to avoid as many disruptions as possible and maintain their productivity.

supply chain harbour

3 Supply Chain Management Phases

Maintaining a solid supply chain involves employing management methods and customising them to best suit your specific operations.

International supply chains are not as reliable as they used to be. Managers can no longer assume the estimates they once did and must reassess the situation with every order. Fortunately, three straightforward techniques will build a resilient supply chain.

  • Design is the initial planning stage. An essential time when you’ll create a plan for sourcing the raw materials needed from suppliers and how best to transport them.
  • Planning has a similar sounding function as design but with a unique difference. The design will create a detailed plan for a durable supply chain, but planning will add necessary contingencies so you can adapt to any unforeseen changes. Supply and demand is a fluid element of business that changes throughout the year. Therefore, an adaptable supply chain is far more successful than a rigid one resistant to change.
  • Execution is how your planned designs will be enacted and their progress. Manufacturers will need to monitor the progress of their sourced materials and distribution to their clients. Any potential disruptions should be identified early and compensated for to prevent the supply chain from weakening.

managing supply chain

Supply Chain Management Benefits

As an international springs and pressings manufacturer, we deeply understand how vital a robust supply chain is to maintain high productivity. Every link in the chain needs to be relied upon to create the most robust supply chain possible and not interrupt your planned daily operations.

One valuable technique is diversification. Diversification helps compensate for any erratic behaviour along the supply chain and limits the collateral damage of any disruptions. By committing your upstream materials to a single route, any disruption will be catastrophic to your plans. Diversifying your materials across various transportation routes (or from several suppliers) will guarantee that you receive at least a portion of your raw materials without delay.

Another method is to explore closer suppliers. International logistics are an increasingly complex operation to monitor; the farther your goods travel, the likelihood of problems increases. The distance can also affect the financial cost of delays that will compensate for the problem. With less distance to travel, your chain will encounter fewer obstacles and be more reliable.

A managed supply chain is a strong one. Doing so can increase your chain’s visibility and improve your collaboration with suppliers up and downstream. In addition, persistent corrections to agreed-upon deadlines will lower your business partners’ trust in your company. Effective management will also reduce additional costs and help you maintain an open, honest dialogue with your clients regarding lead times.

European Springs are one of the leading manufacturing companies in Ireland, producing the highest quality springs, pressings and wire forms for a broad range of clients globally.


The gender gap is an issue many male-dominated industries are looking to close. It became such an issue that in 2018, any business or company with over 250 employees must report gender pay gaps, which still applies to date. This enforcement of reporting inconsistencies encourages companies to address their equality in paying wages.

However, the gender gap goes beyond the wages, with the manufacturing industry having significant gaps in the number of employees representing the female gender. At European Springs, we strongly believe in the positive impact closing the gender gap can have on the road to where equality remains as nothing more than the box you tick for data collection.

graphic of female engineers

The Importance of Women in STEM

Studies have shown that since 2010, there has been a 16% rise in women in STEM studies and careers. This rise took the original 562,000 women to an impressive 963,000 in 2021. Whilst this increase is welcomed by the STEM industries. However, it is a long way off from closing the gender gap.

When there are amble labour and skill shortages, closing the gap is not only to increase the awareness of equality in the workplace, especially one so heavily male-dominated, but also to assist the UK in achieving a complete workforce. Furthermore, by supporting and actively participating in female recruitment, STEM industries could help relieve the pressure off overworked staff and increase productivity and morale within the workplace.

Stem female students

Women are vital, especially within the manufacturing process. Many developments, apps, products and much more are not considerate of the female gender due to the significant lack of women in the manufacturing process. Take Apple, for example. On the release of its health app in 2015, it neglected to equate women’s health requirements. This fault was due to the gap in female leads on the project. Without such, it meant the app was centred around the male physique.

Another example of such is butchering. All the standard equipment that most commercial butchering facilities provide for safety doesn’t equate to the natural size of women compared to men and leaves them with unsuitable health and safety wear which could cause significant issues. With more women in the planning, designing and manufacturing positions, the more these errors would be eradicated.


Opportunities Available for Women

Considering women equate to approximately 48% of the labour market, there is still much work to do to close the gender gap within manufacturing. For example, only 8% of women take up apprenticeships in manufacturing, and only 11% of women are currently in executive director roles.

Whilst there is no official exclusion of women, and they are always welcome to apply for any role within the STEM industries, there is still more which could be done. Positive discrimination and more flexible skill requirements, such as soft skills over hard skills, would help to bridge the gap for women.

female engineer

Soft skills have historically been associated with women but can offer just as much value to a project as hard skills such as IT literacy. Soft skills such as leadership abilities, organisation and quick learning can offer a company much more valuable assets than industry-specific experience.

However, there are many opportunities that women can take advantage of to help them kickstart their careers in the STEM industries. For example, Brunel University in London offers a very successful program for graduates called Women in Engineering and Computing. Since its rollout, they have assisted over 600 new employees in finding positions within STEM industries. Although they are not as widespread as we would like to see as a spring manufacturer, it is the start of aiming for an all-inclusive sector.

Another fantastic opportunity for women is the Meri Williams Scholarship for the University of Bath. This scholarship is offered to all women or non-binary students who wish to work within the STEM sector and will cover £9,000 for the course. Assistance like this goes a long way to encourage more of these students to follow fulfilling careers and have opportunities to change the world, which many other industries don’t offer.

female engineering apprentice

Supporting Women In STEM Careers

As an experienced pressing company that strives for an equal industry, we offer a fully comprehensive engineering apprenticeship program open to all genders and skill levels. We take on apprenticeships year-round, with most of our apprentices being provided with the opportunity for a full-time career in their area of expertise. We also support development through in-job training, allowing staff to progress in their careers without needing to look for a new position elsewhere.

The STEM industry has significantly upped its self-awareness of the gender gap. With many organisations set up to support women and non-binary into stem careers, including the likes of STEM Women, which showcases all the jobs available, working alongside universities, employers and students to find the suitable match for all.

If you would be interested in a career with us, learning about our processes as spring suppliers, you can enquire online using our contact form. One of our helpful team members will get back to you with more information about all our courses and opportunities accessible for women wishing to begin their STEM careers.



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