17 September, 2019

Something in the air (April 2014)

29 April, 2014

There seems to be an almost palpable feeling of optimism within business and industry at the moment. Speaking with visitors and exhibitors at DFA Media’s co-located exhibitions Fluid Power & Systems, Air-Tech, Drives & Controls, Plant and Asset Management and European Offshore & Energy at Birmingham’s NEC earlier this month, this buoyant mood certainly came to the fore. Indeed, it was the organiser’s most successful event yet, with an official attendance figure of 12,793. This was an increase of nearly 15 per cent on 2012 (for a more detailed review of Fluid Power & Systems and Air-Tech 2014, see pages 38 to 46 in this issue). Recruitment specialist Reed has similarly good tidings to share. Increasing job opportunities and job security, combined with an optimistic outlook for the economy, is giving more than a third (37 per cent) of engineers the confidence to search for new jobs, it claims. The new Reed Engineering Salary Guide and Market Insight 2014 and Market Insight Report 2014 canvassed the attitudes of around 2500 workers and employers working in a variety of industry sectors and job levels. It found a largely happy workforce, with eight out of ten (87 per cent) workers in engineering firms feeling secure or very secure in their roles, up 13 per cent on 2012, with nearly seven in 10 (69 per cent) satisfied in their current role. However, with more than a third of workers expected to be looking for a new role within a year, two thirds (62 per cent) of employers are concerned about losing talented individuals from their organisation in this candidate-driven market. The research also highlighted a shortage of skills in the engineering sector, with more than a third (38 per cent) of engineering firms saying they have a skills gap in their organisation and 89 per cent saying this gap is having a negative impact on their business. To resolve this, 46 per cent of engineering firms are investing in training, and 50 per cent are promoting internally. Mark Blay, UK senior divisional director at Reed Engineering, made the point that UK industry has enjoyed a strong start to the year, with CBI figures showing the fastest rate of growth in new orders since 2011. “We’re seeing a burgeoning pipeline of job opportunities across all areas of industry, with predictions showing that between now and 2020, UK industry will need 830,000 new Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) Professionals and 450,000 new SET Technicians,” he remarked. Blay added that Reed is finding there is a shortage of qualified candidates in the engineering sector, and across all areas of industry there is evidence that demand for graduate engineers is outstripping supply. “With this shortfall of skilled candidates, most employers will have to take a close look at how they present themselves to the labour market to make sure they stand out and so the jobseeker chooses them,” he said. The Reed Engineering Salary Guide and Market Insight 2014 and Market Insight 2014 report can be obtained by visiting www.reedglobal.com This research was compiled using the results of the Reed 2014 Salary and Market Insight and Talent Management reports, conducted with a representative sample of 2500 employers and employees, as well as data from reed.co.uk’s monthly Job Index. When more positive economic days arrive it becomes apparent just how critical it is to encourage training and education at all levels within the engineering sphere, as well as in all others. In this regard it’s encouraging to know that almost half of engineering firms are investing in training, and half are actively promoting personnel with their organisation; which can only be good for staff morale. When qualified people are hard to come by in more bullish times many companies risk finding it a challenge to achieve their true business potential, and this naturally can have a negative knock-on effect for UK Plc. Let’s all continue to fly the flag for training and education wherever opportunities arise.

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