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UK Automotive Industry ‘Facing Many Challenges’

Posted: 26/04/2017

The UK’s automotive manufacturing industry is facing a number of challenges, but despite this many firms in the sector are still intending to hire new staff in 2017.

These are among the findings highlighted in the Automotive Manufacturing Salary Survey by Consilium Recruit, with Machinery noting that almost half of engineering and manufacturing companies based in the Midlands plan to recruit in the coming months.

According to the report, the biggest challenges firms in this sector face are a growing skills shortage among workers, uncertainty over the government’s visa policy in the wake of Brexit and worries over extra labour cost burdens.

Making sure any new staff receive the appropriate training, covering everything from safe working practices to emergency response planning, will no doubt be a priority for any manufacturers that do decide to take on new workers this year.

Paul Gunnell, Business Development Manager at Consilium Recruit, warned that skills shortages in the manufacturing and engineering sectors are “at an all-time high”.

He added that organisations in the sector are keen for some clarity over the visa situation to ensure that they can hire talent from around the world, as well as to know existing staff will be able to stay.

There has been some positive news for the sector this year though, with the SMMT reporting last month that UK engine manufacturing posted three per cent growth in February. Higher overseas demand helped boost production, the organisation revealed.

SMMT, Chief Executive, Mike Hawes commented that maintaining the country’s competitiveness as an exporter will be essential if the sector is to continue to experience such positive growth.