THE UK PHOTONICS INDUSTRY: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

Posted 10/1/2022 by Benet Hanley

Photonics is one of the most significant revenue-generating industries in the UK, contributing over £12 billion. It is also a significant employer of labour with over 70,000 individuals working within this sector, more than popular industries like pharmaceutics. Currently, the UK ranks as the eighth largest producer of photonics in the world, accounting for 3 – 8% of global photonics.

In Europe, the UK sits just behind Germany, the current leading photonics manufacturer, and has similar production output to France and the Netherlands. Although there has been massive progress in the UK photonics space within the past decade, this industry still has significant growth potential in terms of what is possible in production, output, employment and revenue generation. Despite the high annual revenues being published online and the laudable employment statistics, the fact remains that there is still significant room for improvement across the general photonics industry.

Overcoming Challenges and Maximizing Opportunities

Most of the revenue generated by the UK photonics industry comes from larger corporations. These companies also employ over 80% of the workforce and are responsible for the majority of the output. Regardless of these facts, the photonics industry is still growing, and both small and large companies can look forward to a profitable future due to the massive opportunities within the photonics space. 

However, this promising future is not without obstacles, as the UK photonics industry would need to overcome a few hurdles to increase its output and yearly revenues. One of the main challenges is the cost of operations. Running a photonics company is highly capital intensive. Consequently, this affects the overall bottom line of companies as products become too costly for their customers to purchase. For example, the UK healthcare sector is one of the industries where photonics technology remains underutilized. Although photonics is being applied in diagnostic tests such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and many other personalised care interventions, most of these measures are extremely expensive and remain unaffordable for many individuals. One of the challenges and we are seeing this being met is to make photonics-based solutions more cost-effective across several sectors ranging from healthcare to manufacturing and telecommunications as time progresses.

Another critical challenge facing the UK photonics industry is the issue of talent acquisition. Talent is one of the most vital aspects to position a company to take advantage of the vast opportunities in the UK photonics space. However, many companies are having difficulty finding and employing the right people. The specialised nature of the roles and the need for experience to boulster small but growing teams means that relatively few highly sought after individuals are a match to the roles. The companies that will emerge on top and make the most of this upward growth of the photonics industry will be those that implement effective recruitment solutions.

This is where Enigma People Solutions can help. We work with companies in the deep tech sector who are determined to find, recruit and win the best talent for their team. We recruit senior engineers or for a whole team for start ups or when you scale up. We offer permanent and contract recruitment services for the Photonics industry across the UK.

In an industry where competition for talent is fierce we use tried and tested methods to source the right talent for your team even when they’re not looking for a new position. We have a deep network of contacts in the sector that allows us to source and match candidates to the right team. 

What makes our offering unique is that we specialise in recruiting in the Photonics sector. We understand the nature of the industry, the jobs, the people and the recruitment marketplace. We go above and beyond from the standard posting on jobs sites to identifying and speaking to candidates who are not looking for a job but could be a perfect match for your business. 

Enigma People Solutions is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. We find technical leaders for the emerging and enabling technology industries. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in photonics, electronics, semiconductor, software and IoT in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on + 44 131 510 8150

 

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