Q2 Engineering sector roundup and FAQs

by Heat Recruitment

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We are 6 months into 2017 now, so we thought we’d catch up with Steve Auburn from the Engineering team to find out about your most frequently asked questions, the state of the engineering job marketing and what’s set to change into 2018 and beyond.

What have opportunities been like in the engineering sector in the first half of 2017?
There have been lots of opportunities so far in the engineering sector but not many applications. We’re seeing the job market be very candidate driven. There are lots of people going through on the graduate schemes and lots of people becoming top engineers but we’re struggling to find anyone who is a mid-level engineer. There are lots of companies who have been going abroad to attract talent. Some have even given visas.

What do you think will happen in the second half of 2017 and into 2018?
We don’t believe that the job sector will bring bags of changes going into 2018. A lot of companies are taking their time to recruit, not least because they are struggling to find talent, but also struggling to find the right talent. The big engineering companies are leading the way with graduates, snapping them up very quickly, but the SMEs are struggling to keep up as their time and resources are stretched. There’s not enough time for these companies to train graduates up, but they are struggling to gain mid-level engineers too.

Do you foresee any major changes in your sector in the next couple of years that will affect training and recruitment in the engineering sector?
One word required. Brexit. There’s currently a lot of uncertainty regarding the engineering industry and Brexit – A lot of engineering companies will bring people to the UK for work on schemes and if we pursue a hard Brexit, it could be that these companies struggle. These big companies could, in turn, then move to Europe where freedom of movement will stay. However, for the moment, the industry is carrying on as normal, with a cautious eye on the developments on Brexit.

How much opportunity is there in the sector to keep training and CPD?
In terms of the qualifications, we’re not seeing much difference, but if you’re a graduate, you’ve got a lot of opportunities in the sector. Many big companies are hiring graduates while SMEs are struggling to find the resources and the time to train graduates up. Therefore, SMEs are struggling to find mid-level engineers in the sector. Companies still need to do more where training is concerned to build the future people of the industry.

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What would you like to see more of in the applications you receive? Is there anything that jumps out at you that makes you put someone’s application straight in the shortlist pile?
We’re finding that less and less people are applying for engineering jobs, in a market that is highly saturated. 99% of the applications that we see are irrelevant or live outside of the EU, so we’d love to see more mid-level engineers applying for the jobs. People are finding and moving jobs, but they aren’t applying to many anymore.

What is the biggest skills gap in your sector in 2017?
Mid-Level Engineering. The SMEs are desperately crying out for Mid-Level Engineers and the job market is looking unlikely to change in the short term. Big companies are currently finding it easier to headhunt rather than put out a general job posting, hence why they come to recruitment agencies.

Steve Auburn is one of our Senior Recruitment Consultants specialising in Engineering. Call to have a chat on 0117 922 1771

Check out The Ultimate Guide to Engineering here.

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