Report reveals 72 per cent of Scottish manufacturing and engineering firms struggle to recruit staff

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22nd September 2017 16:15 - Engineering

Report reveals 72 per cent of Scottish manufacturing and engineering firms struggle to recruit staff

Recent report reveals 72 per cent of Scottish manufacturing and engineering firms struggle to recruit staff: A poll included in the Manufacturing and Engineering Report for 2017-18 details concerns of recruitment following Brexit negotiations, from 50 firms in Scotland and 460 across the UK.

Written in conjunction with the MHA association of UK independent accountancy firms and the Bank of Scotland, the report details issues regarding growth in the manufacturing and engineering sectors.

Out of those that were interviewed, four fifths of survey respondents were small and medium enterprises (SMEs), while the remainder were microbusinesses with less than 10 members of staff.

In short, the survey concluded that 72 per cent of Scottish firms had difficulty employing skilled workers and 22 per cent expressed concerns about business growth following Brexit discussions.

The report detailed the following concerns with regards to recruitment:

·       46 per cent of firms said they found it difficult to recruit skilled machinists/technicians

·       21 per cent found it difficult to employ skilled workers

·       21 per cent found it difficult to employ semi-skilled workers

Additionally, 17 per cent of firms reported a lack of motivation from local applicants for lower-skilled jobs and 13 per cent commented on unrealistic salary expectations.

In recent years, Scotland has seen a rise in population due to migrant workers moving from the EU. However, the growth rate may be subjected to change after a leaked file regarding Britain’s Brexit negotiations revealed that restrictions may be put in place regarding immigration; meaning that only workers with high skill levels are set to be employed.  

Partner at Henderson Loggie’s Manufacturing Group., Gavin Black, comments on the survey’s result: “The sector continues to have difficulty recruiting staff with the relevant skills, the pressure on which is likely to increase as some businesses are at risk of losing staff due to Brexit.”

However, the survey also revealed that 45 per cent of respondents said they are expecting a rise in the recruitment of the number of staff within the next 12 months and 65 per cent of businesses are predicting growth for 2017/18.

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