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The rise of manufacturing job applications & how we are supporting UK manufacturing growth

Posted by: Katherine Garratt 21 Jul 15 - 5:49PM  | Recruitment

Recruitment InternationalAs recently published in Recruitment International magazine, Jason Cole, Lead Consultant for the Automotive Commercial division, provides an insight into the rise of manufacturing job applications and how recruitment consultancies such as Jonathan Lee Recruitment are supporting the growth of UK manufacturing.

Recruitment International UK magazine
The Big Issues feature – July 2015

1. Why has there been a rise in manufacturing job applications?
At Jonathan Lee Recruitment we have seen phenomenal growth in the number of applications for manufacturing roles. Applications made through our website this May are up by an astonishing 60% on the same period in 2014. The automotive sector, in which my team specialises, is in particularly rude health at the moment, creating lots of movement as candidates seek to improve their prospects and manufacturers fight to recruit and retain talent. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders recently reported that the number of new jobs being created in the sector – created, not safeguarded or maintained – amounted to 5,295 positions.* Many of these were manufacturing jobs.
Download a pdf of the article here:
Jason Cole discusses how recruitment companies are supporting the growth of UK manufacturing

The increased recruitment activity in the automotive sector is largely due to the formidable success of UK vehicle manufacturers. Their success has sparked activity in Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers; their products feature within vehicles that are in great demand. In turn, these businesses have had to increase their ability to meet the growing demands of the market, putting efficient and effective recruitment processes in place to promptly fill skills gaps.

It’s not just applications for engineering roles that have spiked of late; as manufacturing businesses look to expand across all business functions, we’re also seeing a surge in demand for candidates for purchasing and procurement, supply chain, logistics and technically biased sales and marketing roles.


2. How can recruitment agencies support the growth of UK manufacturing?
Recruitment companies are the fundamental link between the organisations seeking to expand their teams and the specialist talent pool with the potential to add serious value to their businesses. Where skills shortages exist, companies are realising that it’s often not as simple as searching for the ideal candidate: they may not exist. Our responsibility as specialist recruitment consultants is to ultimately find a solution. And we do, utilising our industry and technical knowledge and the latest talent attraction methods, focusing on transferable skills and helping our clients to horizon plan and evolve their existing teams.

Without doubt, the recruitment providers best placed to support expansion in the sector are those with an in-depth understanding and experience of the manufacturing industry. An understanding of the particular skills and personal attributes required for specialist roles is not something that is arrived at overnight. I regularly draw on the insight and understanding I first started to develop in my previous commercial role at Jaguar Land Rover. It is this specialist sector knowledge, insight and understanding that enables our specialist consultants to offer expert advice to our clients, helping them plan for their future needs as well as fulfilling their existing requirements.

3. Which UK areas are seeing manufacturing momentum and which are in decline?
The manufacturing sector has enjoyed a lengthy period of buoyancy with the Midlands area being a hive of activity. Media headlines have been dominated with news of the Midlands’ automotive growth, but we are also seeing increased demand in diverse technical businesses such as aerospace, off-highway, rail, subcontract manufacturing, automation, power generation and FMCG. This seems to be holding true across the UK, not just in our local area.

4. What does the rest of 2015 hold for manufacturing recruitment?
This year we will see teams continue to expand in line with UK manufacturers’ plans for long term growth, with competition sharpening between companies in the sector battling for candidates with the skills in highest demand and shortest supply. The recruitment sector will have a significant part to play in their success. Companies like ours will also continue to help manufacturers to sell their proposition effectively to the best candidates, focus on core skillsets, invest in training and adopt a flexible approach, ensuring that the right people are in the right roles at the right time.

5. What is the most important goal for Jonathan Lee Recruitment this year?
Jonathan Lee has been a key partner for manufacturing and technical clients for more than 37 years, and our ethos and fundamental values remain the same; to provide the best resourcing solutions through fully understanding, communicating and meeting the needs of our clients and candidates. Our aim is to retain our position as a leader in the sector and ultimately, to be the first choice for clients and candidates alike.

In brief

Job Title:  Lead Consultant - Automotive Commercial
Located:  The Maltings, Stourbridge
Hobbies:  Family, Music, Dog walking
Currently Reading:  How I Escaped My Certain Fate – Stewart Lee
Favourite Film:  A New Hope
Favourite holiday destination:  Orlando
Favourite sports team:  Wolverhampton Wanderers
Best news you’ve heard this year:  Beatle Ringo Starr joined by Paul McCartney as he's inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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