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Impact of the Engineering Skills Shortage in the UK

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over 2 years ago

by Rob Phillips

Impact of the Engineering Skills Shortage in the UK

​It's hard to explain how competitive the labour market is within the Hard Facilities Management (Hard FM) sector at the moment. After 20+ years of working solely in this sector, we've never seen anything like it.

Facilities management refers to the management and maintenance of commercial buildings, with Hard FM specifically referring to the physical aspects such as air conditioning, heating and plumbing.

What's causing the difficulty in recruiting skilled engineers?

We've seen the number of engineers in the Hard FM sector plummet over the years, with engineering being on the shortage occupations list compiled by the government.

Partially as a result, many employers are struggling to fill their engineering roles. It's a problem that started before the pandemic and doesn't seem to be getting better. A number of reasons have contributed to these issues, such as:

  • A lack of apprenticeships makes the barrier for entry more difficult

  • Cost of training courses & certifications putting people off who haven't got access to financial support

  • Issues with pay and conditions of the tole

  • Diversity and inclusion failing

  • FM isn't viewed as 'sexy' by young people

  • The low number of applicants

  • Not enough suitable work experience

  • Too much competition from other employers vying for the same candidates

Source: https://www.sepnet.ac.uk/

Whatever the reason, there just aren't the number of skilled engineers there used to be when we started in this sector in the late 90’s, despite the fact that new buildings are still being constructed.

As a result, there’s a huge gap between the number of vacancies and the number of engineers to fill them.

How we can help fill your engineering roles

Decent engineers are getting 3 offers within 24 hours of registering with us, with some engineers receiving 10+ offers.

This is great for the engineers, obviously, especially as salaries are increasing rapidly. They are spoilt for choice in lots of cases!

However, it's a different story if you are a company with plans to grow your business in 2022. If you haven't partnered with a specialist agency yet, it's something you should really consider. We know we charge a fee for what we do, but that fee could be dwarfed by the cost of missed growth opportunities due to staffing issues.

Regardless of the skills gap, companies are struggling to draw in the few promising candidates due to competing and often more lucrative job offers. Recruitment Agencies like ourselves help place over a million workers in employment annually, we are here to help you draw in the talent and stand ahead of the competition!

If you'd like to discuss how a recruitment partnership can help you hit your growth plans, don't hesitate to get in touch with us.

Alternatively, if you’re an engineer looking to see just how in-demand you are, get in touch, there’s never been a better time to progress your career.

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