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Engineering and manufacturing talent search

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

According to new research from City & Guilds, UK employers are facing a skills shortage with engineering and manufacturing companies amongst the work affected. The findings have been published to coincide with the start of Work Experience Week and show that even though 60% of employers are struggling to find new employees with the right skills, the figure is much higher for the engineering and manufacturing sector at 72%.

Views were gathered from more than 1000 small, medium and large businesses and found that 41% of engineering and manufacturing companies in the UK are considering looking abroad for new recruits. 57% of those are going to do so as they believe that young people in the UK are leaving education without the correct skills. Only 25% of those in the public sector are considering looking abroad for new employees and only 22% in retail and sales and 24% in hospitality and tourism.

Employers opinions

53% of the employers interviewed from engineering and manufacturing companies believe that the current education system focuses too strongly on academia to the detriment of core skills like literacy, maths and communication. Employers also feel that young people are not work ready. Two thirds of employers in the sector said that young people’s employment expectations are too high. Nearly three quarters think that young people do not understand what employers are looking for and therefore many do not get past the interview stage; and 61% of organisations believe young people are less equipped for the workplace compared with five years ago.

Approximately 80% of employers from the engineering and manufacturing sector said that work experience is essential to ensuring young people are ready for work. Two thirds have said that they would be more likely to hire a young person with work experience over someone with none.

Key engineering and manufacturing findings

  • 49% of employers in the engineering and manufacturing sector have given a full time job to someone they’ve taken on for a work experience placement, compared to 29% who have employed someone following a graduate scheme.
  • 71% believe that structured work experience should be mandatory for all 16 – 18 year olds.
  • Young people with work experience are thought to be more employable because:
  • They understand the work environment better and how to conduct themselves in it.
  • They have a better attitude towards work and learning on the job.
  • They have a better understanding of industry/know what they are getting in to.

The survey did also reveal that despite the above, almost 40% of companies in engineering and manufacturing to not currently work with local schools or colleges to attract new talent. 67% of employers in the sector said they remain uncertain on how to deliver the most effective work experience placements and would welcome guidelines and support and 61% would like to be more involved in qualification creation.

Adapted from a press release by Claira Lloyd.

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