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Engineer shortage is 'national scandal', says Mawdsley Consultancy

Whilst employment prospects in many other sectors are looking up, the engineering sector represents a dark cloud on the horizon, explains Paul.

He said: ”Many of our engineering clients are experiencing a poor response to their advertising for engineers, because they can’t find the qualified or technical skills they need.  This is a reflection of the situation across the UK.

“In a recent manufacturing survey* of 220 smaller manufacturing and engineering businesses, 65 per cent reported problems because of a shortage of skills and experienced engineers and graduates.

“This shortage of engineers is a & lsquo;national scandal’ and will affect the UK’s ability to compete globally.”

International mobile energy and data transmission systems specialist Conductix Wampfler employs 30 people at its Salford site. 

Managing director Alan Jones explained they had such difficulty recruiting engineers, even for semi-technical roles, they made the decision to & lsquo;grow their own.’

He said: “It’s very difficult to get people who are qualified, particularly for contract engineers and draftsmen. 

“We knew it wouldn’t be easy, so we decided to adopt a long-term view by taking on an apprentice and developing them in-house.  It’s proved a real success for us.”

Martin Griffin, managing director of Pontefract based play equipment specialist Sutcliffe Play, agrees.  He said: “Recruiting qualified engineers is proving exceedingly difficult, we wonder if a degree in engineering is less attractive than it used to be.

“If the quality of engineers is not there, you have little option but to develop employees and put in place a programme of training.”

Paul believes that a reduced investment in training generally has contributed to the shortage of engineers.

He added: “Since the abolition of the Engineering Industry Training Board, companies have taken the opportunity to reduce costs and expenses by reducing expenditure on training.

“In the recession of the last six years, again firms have reduced costs by failing to take on apprentices.

“Traditional skills are losing out from the careers advisory people and what’s needed is a re-focus on the attractions of engineering as a career.”

Established in 1987, The Mawdsley Consultancy is recognised as one of the North West’s leading search and selection companies.

For further information, contact The Mawdsley Consultancy on 01257 452566, email or visit www.

ENDS (405 words)

*Source: The 2014 MHA SME Manufacturing Survey by accountancy and business advisory firm association MHA.


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