Engineering Contingent Recruitment

The Engineering ‘Skills Debt’ & Why Supply is the Key

Over the last few weeks I’ve heard and read much about the global skills shortage and its impact on the economy. It’s a concern for many business sectors, but in particular for the engineering industry

The above statement is an extract taken from a recent ERE article ‘Tackling the Skills Shortage in the Engineering Sector’ that provides four specific tips the engineering sector can take to help combat the skills shortage.

Talent shortages and skills gaps appear to be as hot as ever in trade media right now. Recently we have noticed more polarising commentary as to why and how this situation is evolving, and how best to deal with it.

‘Employer Brand’ has been cited as the main reason an organisation will experience shortages with the fabled employers such as Google and Apple highlighted as the model to follow. For most of us, to be able to hire like the world’s tech behemoths is certainly an aspiration, but the reality is that we may be a few years off competing on real terms! Plus to blame an employer brand is to say there is no shortage when there is a strong amount of data now supporting the reality of talent shortages at a sector and country wide level. It is happening.

The engineering sector can follow these great tips laid out in the article, they all make sense but these should just be the beginning.

Hiring retirees will extend a skills base for a few years. Looking for gender diversity will take a few years to implement before it bears fruit and building a contingent workforce will certainly allow flexibility on a project basis especially on ultra niche skills that you don’t want to bench at any time (they’re expensive right).

The real issue is long term supply of qualified (or part qualified) workers. Governments, schools and universities are the real creators of the workforces of tomorrow. If they look at how they can attract more students into doing more engineering based studies then the supply chain could be more viable for industry in the future.

Apply the same principles that Google use in their employer brand to attract students to certain areas of academia and tuition and whilst we’re at it, give them valid career advice too. Advice driven by data analysis rather than sentiments of what our fathers and grandmothers did. It may sound quite radical but left-field thinking will prevent us from further storing up skills debt in our emerging workforces.

Click the following link to read ‘Tackling the Skills Shortage in the Engineering Sector

James Griffin

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