Lack of Skills Threatens Automotive Growth – Survey

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The worsening skills crisis is the single biggest threat to post-recession growth in the UK automotive industry, according to the latest survey on employment prospects for the sector.

More than half of Midlands manufacturing and engineering firms want to take on extra staff this year, despite increasing employment costs but they see the skills shortage as a potential brake on their acceleration plans.

The stark findings are revealed in the 2016 Manufacturing Salary Survey by leading Midlands-based engineering recruitment specialist Consilium Recruit.  Surveying a cross-section of automotive manufacturing and engineering employers across the car-producing Midlands, the survey found that 52 per cent expected to take on more people this year.

But the employers, representing a cross section of the automotive sector including major manufacturers, suppliers, motorsport companies and support businesses say lack of skills is threatening growth and artificially forcing up wage costs in a job-seekers’ market. In particular sills are in short supply in product and process engineering, maintenance and quality functions.

Consilium Recruit director Russell Tuck said there was cautious optimism for modest but sustained growth in the automotive sector but the worsening skills shortage was presenting the biggest single threat to the industry.

“Despite a fairly positive outlook, the lack of engineers continues to be an issue which in turn has progressively forced up wage costs, particularly in acute skill shortage areas. This shortfall means that labour costs in Britain are now among some of the highest in Europe. In addition the Government’s visa policies are continuing to prevent growing firms from attracting much-needed global talent into the UK workplace.”.

Consilium Recruit – celebrating its 15th anniversary this year – was formed in 2001 by a group of engineering and manufacturing professionals. The company has placed industry talent into a variety of leading UK and European businesses, with clients including Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren, London Taxi Company and Bosch.

In 2014 the 40-employee firm which has offices in Stratford-upon-Avon and Stourport, was voted the UK’s Best Recruitment Company to Work for by the Institute of Recruitment Professionals, and also recognised nationally as a top 10 company by the prestigious Great Places to Work Institute.