Recruitment intentions among SME manufacturers in the UK are at a two year high, according to new data.
Of the almost 300 manufacturing SME leaders surveyed in the latest National Manufacturing Barometer, 53% expressed their intention to hire more employees over the next six months.
This is up 5% on the past quarter, and the highest figure reported in two years, showing that businesses are planning to take on more staff in a bid to boost productivity and sales, illustrating a confidence in the market, despite continued uncertainty regarding Brexit and trade talks.
In other positive news, 60% of manufacturers reported an increase in sales with 68% expecting orders to rise between now and the end of the year.
The National Barometer’s special focus found many SMEs lacked skilled staff within their manufacturing teams, particularly with technical levels in design, general management and operational levels in sales and marketing.
Bosses also had concerns about the quality of staff training, the attitude of some new recruits, salary expectations and the cost and quality of recruitment.
Simon Howes, CEO of Exelin Group, said: “The need to focus on recruitment comes as no surprise and reflects what manufacturers are telling us about their concerns around productivity and the availability of people.
“As we approach Brexit, it’s important to recognise that UK SME manufacturing is proving resilient. The analysis of the key trends and comments in this quarter’s Barometer points to firm intentions of growth, improved productivity and increasing profitability.”
Technology expert Kate Russell’s top 5 tips for recruiting future talent (Source: EEF):
- Be proactive
- Be visible
- Be flexible
- Be creative
- Engage apprentices
David Lewis, managing director, integra people, warrington