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UK – Underused manufacturing workers could quit

18 February 2014

Manufacturing workers across the UK feel that they are being underutilised, as they frequently carry out general duties outside of their core position, according to a survey of 2,000 manufacturing and engineering workers by recruitment firm Michael Page, reports foodmanufacture.co.uk.

One in three workers responded that their skill set was being eroded because they were not focusing on their core role. Almost half (43%) said they were prepared to look for a new job if they felt their employer wasn’t doing enough to develop their specialist skills.

Colin Monk, Managing Director of Michael Page Engineering & Manufacturing, commented: “This sector requires high levels of technical skill and specialist knowledge. Whether you’re the person designing the product, putting it together, or hiring the person that does, it takes a specific skill set and it’s important that businesses protect and nurture these skills. If they don’t employees will inevitably feel overwhelmed and frustrated and could vote with their feet.”       

A quarter (24%) of the manufacturing professionals surveyed felt an increasingly general remit was having a negative impact on their productivity and a third (31%) were worried that their company was not hiring enough specialists. Overall, 38% of all workers surveyed said a lack of specialist skills in their company was placing unnecessary pressure on them to meet consumer demands.

Mr Monk warned that manufacturers need to invest in new or existing talent or the skills gap the sector currently faces could get worse: “The food sector continues to face a serious skills shortage, particularly in the areas of continuous improvement and process flow. In order to evolve and not lag behind, the sector must adopt a more flexible mind-set with its recruitment approach.”

He suggested bringing in specialist skills from other sectors to bring a more rounded approach to the sector and help it adapt for future challenges: “Failure to do so will inevitably result in further skills shortages, slower processes, and reduced efficiencies, ultimately costing organisation more money in the long run.”  

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