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Engineers “most likely” to move for career progression

Posted by: Sally Fallon 21 Aug 13 - 10:05AM  | Automotive

New research conducted in the wake of a survey by manufacturers' organisation the EEF has indicated that employees in the engineering industry are more likely to switch companies frequently to progress their careers than people in other professions. The result of this trend is that engineering companies lose vital skills and expend time and effort in sourcing and hiring new staff and allowing for bedding in periods.

“With an acute skills shortage in the automotive sector engineers are in great demand at the moment, so retaining key skills is important,” says Jonathan Lee Recruitment’s Automotive Managing Consultant, Mark Bignell. “Engineers have the same driving forces behind career satisfaction as any other person, including pay, career progression opportunities, skills training and job security. Any company looking to retain skilled staff should be looking to provide these as a matter of course.”

With many companies undergoing pay freezes and management often demonstrating reluctance to pay for training with a view to consolidating their financial positions, it can be hard to give employees the job satisfaction they are looking for. SMEs in particular need to realise that engineers are a primary asset which is vital to continued innovation and output.

Mark also warns against the temptation to cut back on training and pay progression as a solution to cash flow issues: “While these options are often effective in the short term and may appear to have minimal negative impact, they ignore the long term impact on strategy and growth.

The immediate effect will be to reduce innovation, quality and productivity, thereby potentially hampering future product development and limiting new market opportunities. Furthermore, the resultant high staff turnover can adversely affect your reputation.

Clients seek continuity of service and product development while the recruitment of new staff will be harder if candidates are sceptical of the security and progression that is on offer.”

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