Jason is part of the business development team working with clients across transportation sectors to develop value added partnerships.
He works extensively with MIA, SMMT, Make UK, Drive Midlands and academic institutions to connect businesses through thought leadership and the communication of industry innovations.
Jason was previously responsible for the day to day operational management of the automotive commercial division. Leading a team of 5 consultants to support OEMs, Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers and SMEs in their commercial recruitment needs covering purchasing, supply chain, logistics, sales, marketing, human resources and administration.
Jason has first-hand knowledge of working in the automotive sector during a 6 year tenure with Jaguar Land Rover. He joined Jonathan Lee Recruitment in 2008 as a senior recruitment consultant in the contracts department working with a blend of automotive, aerospace and defence sector businesses.
It is no coincidence that when it comes to filling permanent vacancies, UK employers have consistently voted engineering and technical in the top three most challenging functions. This is according to the Recruitment Employment Confederation (REC) JobsOutlook monthly report, with figures suggesting that concern has been rising steadily over recent years:Jason Cole
Stand E35 Advanced Engineering NEC, Birmingham, 30th – 31st October 2019 For several years, Industry 4.0 and the engineering technology trends associated with the Internet of Things (IoT) have been in their infancy with many companies at the early stages of innovation and the technology adoption lifecycle. As this decade comes to a close, we are seeing signs that rapid change is happening; implementation of new technologies has already begun and will most certainly characterise and shape the next decade of engineering and manufacturing development. The 5G test bed industrial trials by Bosch and Yamazaki Mazak earlier this year is one such example of IoT technology and the ‘smart factory’ becoming a reality. EVOLUTION OF SKILLS SHORTAGE Our work with tech start-ups, automation specialists, research and innovation centres and businesses adopting smart technologies, tells us that we are the skills shortage is still escalating in the UK and in particular, that new skills are required in enormous numbers in order to achieve the promise of Industry 4.0. The skills deficit has been an ongoing concern; however, skill-sets have typically been within familiar, established fields – the practical elements of manufacturing; electronics, design, functional safety and manufacturing engineering to name but a few. The skills/functions required to aid transformation are still being defined. There are no standard job titles or person specifications and parameters to reference and this makes it incredibly difficult for business leaders to define roles and to attract the right candidates. In fact, many businesses don't even really know what their ideal candidate looks like; the precise experience and skills rarely exist in the open market. It is pof course to be expected - with rapid change come new technologies, new roles and new requirements. This is perhaps the key difference between the skills shortages of the last 20 years in comparison to today. HOW TO APPROACH THE 4.0 SKILLS SHORTAGE? UPSKILL AND RETRAIN EXISTING WORKFORCES Education and retraining will be critical to adapting new technologies as old business models become obsolete. Workforces are going to change and employees need to be given the opportunity to thrive in the new digital landscape. There are a number of reports suggesting a widening disparity between the technology and the talent needed to compete in the Industry 4.0 world. Workforce planning will be crucial and business leaders need to ensure that the business culture is adaptable; looking for opportunities to alter behaviour and ways of thinking to fully embrace change. REDEFINING JOBS AND JOB TITLES We have had instances where our clients have been unsure what to name a role. New positions that are not yet in the mainstream, are difficult to brand and can easily risk either being entirely overlooked by active talent or actually alienating applicants who do not find the titles appealing. Job adverts can create prejudice and advertising for non-traditional roles may not be the best route to market. Consider that your ideal candidates will be passive and will need to have the role fully explained to them - be prepared to sell the opportunity as candidates may not have previously considered a role like this or a company in your space. UPSCALING AND SKILLS MAPPING We have seen a number of businesses at the forefront of advanced engineering ready to scale up production, particularly within niche tech industries. These businesses have often reached a cross-roads – a point where they just can’t find any more suitable people to match their business needs. In these instances, skills mapping has been highly effective to understand where pools of talent are geographically located, particularly when deciding the where to invest in the location of new premises. For many other businesses, location is simply no longer an obstacle to effective hiring. Remote working and flexible working is quickly replacing the traditional 9-5. Cloud-based services and advances in cyber security are removing the shackles of office-based working. We are seeing this particularly with digitally focused positions such as developers and software engineers, who can be based anywhere in the world and still be just as effective at their jobs. SPECIALIST CONTRACTORS Because of Brexit, there are people who perhaps are ready for their next career move but due to the economic uncertainty, have decided to batten down the hatches and stay put. We have found that using specialist contractors can provide a short-term boost to achieving business goals whilst allowing businesses to remain agile in an uncertain market. Contractors can also provide expert guidance and advice, can hit the ground running and solve problems quickly, which can not only help with futureproofing, but also provide a flexible alternative to and saving on full-time staff for projects with 12 to 18-month lifecycles. Of course, with new IR35 legislation coming into effect from April 2020, businesses need to make sure they are ready in order to avoid HMRC penalties. See jonlee.co.uk/IR35 for more information. If you would like to discuss your skills challenges then visit us at Advanced Engineering, on stand E35 within the connected manufacturing zone. Neil Cayley, Charles Cureton, Tom Duckett, Olly Smith, Lee Elwell, Ed Smith and I will be attending the show - please email me to pre book an appointment. Register for tickets here!Jason Cole
Stand E35 Advanced Engineering 2019 NEC, Birmingham, 30 – 31 October 2019 We are just weeks away from Advanced Engineering 2019, where the newest technologies and innovations crucial to continued growth and competitiveness will be showcased. Taking place at the NEC, Birmingham, on the 30 - 31 October, our expert consultants will be on hand to talk about industry’s biggest skills challenges associated with digital transformation, Brexit and IR35. The show is in its 11th year and has grown in popularity to become one of the UK’s largest annual gatherings of OEMs and engineering supply chain professionals. UK manufacturing is flourishing and the Advanced Engineering show displays that in all its glory. Bringing together over 500 exhibitors and over 15,000 professionals across the manufacturing and engineering sector, the show represents aerospace, automotive, healthcare, transport, marine, energy, and civil engineering. We will be exhibiting on stand E35 within the Connected Manufacturing Zone and I would encourage anyone who has any skills concerns to visit our stand. Register for tickets here!Jason Cole
Cenex-LCV 4th - 5th September 2019 Millbrook, Bedfordshire Stand C1-02, Hall 1 ADVANCED ENGINEERING EXPERTS Here at Jonathan Lee, we have seen a huge shift over the past couple of years in the skills and people needed to support the UK and global efforts to reduce carbon emissions and promote greener choices. Automotive, motorsport and other adjacent transportation technologies are leading the evolution, with technological advancement and innovation happening at an unprecedented rate. Part of our commitment to industry is that we promote and support our clients in their low carbon and wider environmental initiatives. So, it's timely that we will be exhibiting at Cenex-LCV next month - the UK's premier low carbon vehicle event, which will once again spotlight the latest low-emission developments with the two day event offering: Technology exhibition Extensive seminar programme Facilitated networking with the low carbon community Ride and drive of the latest research and development and commercially available vehicles Our team is really looking forward to seeing the vehicle demonstrators, particularly the projects we have supported in finding the right people to deliver them. We are also excited to find out more about the latest innovations and technologies as well as catching up with many of the clients and candidates we have supported over the years. NEW FOR 2019 - CENEX CONNECTED AUTOMATED MOBILITY EVENT Previously part of Cenex-LCV, Cenex-Connected Automated Mobility will, for the first time, have its own dedicated exhibition, seminar hall and networking area in line with a growing focus on CAV-related issues. SEMINAR HIGHLIGHTS This year’s seminar programme focuses on the future direction for the low carbon vehicle community to address ‘what next?’ questions for technology and marketing development. There are many question marks surrounding the move from developing technology into mass adoption. In the next 10 years, technology will improve, range will increase, prices will drop, but I am interested to hear how industry plans to win the hearts and minds of the general public. Other topics include energy for transport, vehicle-to-grid, battery safety and legislation, connected and autonomous vehicles, and much more. I am particularly looking forward to attending the following seminars: DAY 1: 4TH SEPTEMBER A Long and Winding Road to Zero - or a UK Opportunity? - Mike Hawes, CEO, SMMT The Future is About More Than Just the Car - What ACES Really Means for Automotive - David Wong, Senior Technology and Innovation Manager, SMMT The SMMT is playing a pivotal role in representing the automotive sector in Brexit, they are also representing the industry as it keeps pace with an extraordinary rate of change and the zero emission targets set out in Road to Zero. I look forward to hearing their seminar discussing how automated, connected, and electric; ACE, automotive technologies are allowing new companies, new mobility models and new business and revenue models to alter the way consumers interact with vehicles. Keynote - Battery Safety from Research to Implementation - Prof David Greenwood, Professor, Advanced Propulsion Systems, WMG, The University of Warwick Powertrain Efficiency: Evaluating Different Techniques for Improving the Energy Efficiency of The Electric Powertrain - Greg Harris, Global Strategy Lead for Electrification, HORIBA MIRA Predicting Thermal Runaway of Lithium Ion Batteries in Abuse Conditions with Potential for Fire and Explosions - Professor Jennifer Wen, Professor of Engineering, Warwick University Safety in Electric Vehicle and Battery Recycling - Dr Anwar Sattar, Lead Engineer, WMG, Warwick University DAY 2: 5TH SEPTEMBER Midlands Future Mobility - A Public Environment to Accelerate the Deployment of CAV Technologies and Services – Professor Paul Jennings, Lead for Intelligent Vehicles, WMG, University of Warwick Having worked closely with WMG, I am always interested to hear about their involvement with the development of connected and autonomous vehicles. I am fascinated to hear more about the Midlands Future Mobility project, which is led by WMG. The project will enable connected and autonomous vehicle technologies, that have been developed using simulation and test tracks, to then be evaluated on roads in real-world driving situations, providing invaluable additional learning that will enable them to become a commercially viable and desirable means of road-transport. Quietly Efficient – Reducing EV Powertrain Noise without Compromising Efficiency - Victoria Godbillot, Mechanical Engineer, Drive System Design To view the complete seminar programme, click here. REGISTER NOW FOR YOUR FREE TICKET Click here to register for your free ticket. SEE YOU THERE! If you are attending the event and would like to meet either Paul Robson, Paul Branton, Jeff Lane or myself during the show please email me to pre book an appointment. Lee Elwell and Rob Johnson will also be attending from the Energy division, get in touch with Lee if you would like to discuss infrastructure. Find out more about the event: cenex-lcv.co.ukJason Cole
Three Counties Defence & Security Expo 2019 16-17th July 2019 Three Counties Showground, Malvern, Worcester Stand number 91 SMEs have always played a crucial role in the defence supply chain. But, it is somewhat refreshing that Jim Carter, Commercial Director, Supply Chain at the MOD, recently declared that access to an innovative SME supply chain is high on Ministry of Defence customers’ agenda. It is timely that we are exhibiting at Three Counties Defence & Security Expo (3CDSE) 2019 in July – an event that has the primary aim to introduce SMEs to procurement decision-makers and influencers in the MOD and law enforcement agencies and to foster commercial discussion between SMEs and primes. Vast Opportunities in Defence With an annual procurement spend of more than £20 billion, the MOD is the largest procurement organisation in central government, managing some of the most complex and technologically advanced requirements in the world. This budget covers a wide range of niche products and services – including many requirements that are successfully provided by start-up or SMEs, such as technology, equipment, support and infrastructure. For businesses that haven’t considered diversifying into defence – now is the perfect time to consider your options and 3CDSE provides the perfect opportunity to explore these. 3CDSE'S Focus on Innovation The theme of 3CDSE is innovation, with a focus on cyber security, hardware and vehicles, UAVs and counter-UAVs, technology and communications. Locally, the Three Counties of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire comprise the hub of the UK’s defence and security industry – the ‘golden triangle’ – with the MOD based in Herefordshire, Qinetiq and the Malvern Cyber Cluster in Worcestershire and GCHQ in Gloucestershire, plus all the satellite industries which have grown up around them. Several sources record that 90% of the UK’s defence and security innovation has its home in this triangle, and, at 3CDSE, there is a focus on business development. 3CDSE 2019 will be engaging both UK and foreign intelligence, including the further Five Eyes of USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and European intelligence agencies, as well as Government and law enforcement agencies. Skills Shortages in Defence We are finding that the SMEs taking advantage of the opportunities in defence are experiencing skills shortage difficulties, particularly within advanced machining and manufacturing skills, electronics, software and systems engineering as well as advanced design techniques including CAD, FEA, simulation, VR and AR. Promoting the benefits of working with a technical, defence specialist recruiter will be the main focus for us at the Three Counties Defence & Security Expo. Jonathan Lee Recruitment has specialised in engineering and manufacturing recruitment for 41 years. Our team consists of specialist recruiters alongside trade professionals including service leavers from the RAF, REME and the British Army. Next Steps I would encourage businesses to explore the potential of diversifying into the defence sector if they haven’t already – there is so much opportunity. Exhibitions such as 3CDSE also enable businesses to get closer to decision-makers. If the defence sector looks like a desirable venture, I would also encourage businesses to become familiar with the MOD contracts portal, which advertises tender and contracts opportunities valued over £10K. You can gain access to the official source of MOD contracts by registering for free with Defence Contracts Online. REgister your Place at 3CDSE Register here. Meet us at 3CDSE Contact me to book an appointment: via email or call me on 01384 446149. Find out more about our specialist defence recruitment team here.Jason Cole
Industry 4.0 is here to stay. In the third episode of our podcast series we discuss how SMEs can diversify skillsets in their business to stay ahead of the game. Click here to listen to our third podcast. We’ve summarised the key takeaway points from the podcast below: What is Industry 4.0? Originating from Germany, Industry 4.0 is now a global phenomenon that affects all UK business sectors. Ultimately is about big data; specifically, how you gather data, for example, using high spec sensors, to analyse a business’ key performance and make informed, strategic decisions, with an outcome that will improve manufacturing/operational effectiveness. Businesses have an awareness of Industry 4.0, but the level/depth of understanding varies. Our European counterparts are probably ahead, however, it is rapidly affecting UK businesses. Is it Difficult for Businesses to Find the Skills that they Need? What is Industry 4.0? Within the manufacturing and engineering industries there is a major skills shortage. Finding graduates who want to build a career within manufacturing and engineering is the first stumbling block. For SMEs, they are looking to see how they can upskill their workforce too. How can you Address these Skill Gaps? Help is out there –Jonathan Lee Recruitment can advise of their skill gaps are and how to fill those gaps. There are also many initiatives and third parties that are proactively helping businesses: We are key partners to The Future of British Manufacturing Initiative (FoBMI). The initiative, led by global 3D design and engineering software developers - Autodesk, engages and educates businesses about Industry 4.0, also known as the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). As partners to the initiative, we can help business leaders complete the FoBMI readiness assessment tool, which helps to analyse their own business, with the output of a personalized report. Make UK, the manufacturers organisation (formally known as EEF) are prominent in lobbying Government, for example most recently with Brexit, but also provide upskilling and practical help to their members and recently invested £10million in a new training facility in Birmingham. And what About Apprenticeships? The more individuals we have into apprenticeships, the better. It is important for industry to work closely with schools to make future generations aware of the opportunities available. We work voluntary as enterprise advisors with The Careers & Enterprise Company to promote the benefits of apprenticeships and the opportunities available locally to schools and school leavers. For example, making them aware of a tool making and a foundry focused apprenticeship centre; these are traditional skills that have been modernised and made an attractive career entry. For employers, there is a lack of knowledge surrounding the Apprenticeship Levy. Our advisory service, Jonathan Lee Skills Consultancy, is helping to remove the myths surrounding apprenticeships – whether levy payers or not. For example, many employers aren’t aware that apprenticeships can be gained within engineering and manufacturing, up to level 7 – the equivalent to a master’s qualification. Workforce of the Future It is critical that the workforce of tomorrow is willing to diversify, be flexible and learn new skills – this will require a cultural change. For businesses, we have found certain sectors acquiring talent and practices from alternative sectors. For example, the automotive sector is arguably the driving force behind some of the world’s best manufacturing practices. Where businesses are open minded, skill-sets can be very transferable from one sector to another, for example, the highly automated automotive and FMCG sectors. It’s about being open minded for the best talent.Jason Cole
It is suggested that by next year more than 50% of the workforce will be Millennials - people born between 1980 and 2000. So, what do employers need to do to not only attract but also retain the very best young talent? Click here to listen to the podcast episode now. COMPETITION TIME ***Remember to enter our competition to win gift vouchers for you and a colleague – simply visit our LinkedIn page to enter.*** Terms and conditions apply. If you haven’t got time to listen to the podcast, key takeaway points from the podcast are summarised below: Understand the Who and Why of Millennials Millennials often get bad press. It is important to consider the key factors that have influenced their development, growing up in a particularly turbulent social, political and economical environment. Technology is at forefront of their lives – Google, social media and other digital platforms have made millennials resourceful; a generation that automatically and autonomously look for information to solve problems via digital channels. Millennials are confident and socially able within their own peer groups and in the online world. In more traditional work environments, they can be less adept at effective communication. Attracting and REtaining Millennial Talent Businesses are frustrated that they are investing time and energy into millennials, only for them to move jobs after two or three years. However, this seems to be the natural way of gaining career development to this generation. It is important to think differently. Re-evaluate your recruitment processes and consider how to adapt to millennials mind-set to engage, reward and ultimately retain talented individuals. For example, our experience shows that salary is more important to millennials than a pension or other benefits schemes. Could paying off student loans be included into your reward schemes? Would you consider accommodating someone who wants to travel by giving a 12 month sabbatical, meaning you retain talent for the long-term benefit of the business? Work-life balance is important; flexible working and hot desking are working practices that millennials enjoy and embrace. Starting work at 11am is not out of the ordinary in the creative digital industries (if they’ve been gaming until the early hours, for example). This generation wants stimulus and development. To avoid millennials looking elsewhere for perceived quick career progression, employers need to demonstrate a developmental career path, make them feel involved and engaged. Brand awareness is important, use social tools and be CSR conscious – giving back to the community. Top Tips for Businesses Link your people back to the business strategy and thus the long-term profitability of the business. Take advantage of these digital natives during the digital transformation that's happening as part of Industry 4.0 Make the role an opportunity – not just a job. Offer them options to take part in independent work, challenge them by giving them ownership of a project, let them develop skills by integrating with the rest of the workforce.Jason Cole
Last week, we launched our podcast channel, The Skills Connection, exploring staffing, hiring and future skills within the engineering, manufacturing and technical sectors. In the first of our podcasts, we discuss Industry 4.0 and what it actually means for SMEs, the Future of British Manufacturing Initiative and how its Digital Catalyst programme can make a significant difference to the long-term success of a business. The first episode of our podcast is available to listen to by clicking here. Competition Time ***Remember to enter our competition to win gift vouchers for you and a colleague – simply visit our LinkedIn page to enter.*** Terms and conditions apply. If you haven’t got time to listen to the podcast, key takeaway points from the podcast are summarised below: What Does Industry 4.0 Mean to Businesses? There are a number of constituent parts to industry 4.0 that inter-connect within manufacturing and engineering. It often begins with the gathering and use of ‘big data’, connective technology (in the Internet of Things, IoT) with cloud computing being the enabler. The third industrial revolution centered around automation while the fourth industrial revolution has moved to intelligent manufacturing. The fundamental elements of Industry 4.0, which include the integration of digital design, augmented reality, virtual reality or simulation, autonomous robots, additive manufacturing and flexible manufacturing routines, system integration – machines talking to machines, cobots, have advanced at an astonishing rate and we do not know what these tools may look like in five years’ time. How Prepared are SMEs for Industry 4.0? There are many SMEs embracing Industry 4.0. For those not embracing or investing, it’s most certainly happening around them. We are seeing larger companies, which the SMEs may supply to, are placing higher demands on their supply chains - for example, with the expectation to be able to customise orders (mass customisation) – and for that reason, SMEs are having to react and embrace new technologies. While customer demand is forcing some SMEs to adopt disruptive technologies, many other SMEs are being proactive to make improvements to their business and gain a competitive advantage. SMEs are realising that productivity improvements can be made by implementing connective technology, for example, by analysing real-time data captured from the manufacturing process, to make informed decisions that will improve processes and ultimately profitability. What ADvice is out There for Businesses? We can help! Many of our consultants have worked in industry and can combine their industry knowledge and understanding of the skill-sets/people available to help. When we talk to businesses, we already possess an in-depth knowledge their sector, so when we listen to a business’ individual circumstances, we can probe that bit deeper to see what lies below the surface to advice the skills they need now and for the future to accomplish their growth and development plans. The Future of British Manufacturing Initiative (FoBMI) The initiative is led and developed by Autodesk and we are one of the key partners and we bring our expertise in recruitment and future to the initiative. A key element of FoBMI is the online readiness assessment tool. The assessment takes 15-20 minutes to complete, it’s free of charge and at the end, participants receive a report to see where their strengths and weaknesses lie in readiness for the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). Information available to businesses is very generic with regards to industry 4.0. The readiness assessment tool provides answers that are specific to your business. Businesses want to understand how they, individually, can become more effective in productivity, future technology, OEE and ultimately their profitability – and this tool allows just that. FoBMI Digital Catalyst Programme Today’s graduates are digital natives and can offer a different skill-set/mind-set, providing a ‘fresh pair of eyes’ to a process or problem. FoBMI’s Digital Catalyst Programme works with leading design and engineering universities in the UK to provide members of the initiative with a student expert under a 'work experience' program to act as a “digital catalyst” to tackle a problem or project. The Digital Catalyst Programme is free to any British design or manufacturing SME – simply take the online readiness assessment tool to begin the process. There are many case studies available to see how it has worked for businesses, visit https://www.autodesk.co.uk/futureofbritishmanufacturing/case-studies to find out more.Jason Cole
We were delighted to recently exhibit at and attend Make UK’s National Manufacturing Conference and Dinner. The event signified the start of a new chapter in the history of The Manufacturers’ Association, EEF, unveiling a re-brand to ‘Make UK’ in a move that reflects the change and evolution of the sector. At a time when the country and the industrial sector face an unparalleled set of challenges and opportunities – including Brexit, digitalisation, automation, artificial intelligence and the emergence of new markets – “it was time for us to adopt a modern name designed to reflect the world-class innovation undertaken by our member companies across the whole of the country.” said Make UK CEO, Stephen Phipson. Key Topics Within Manufacturing I attended the conference and dinner along with Jonathan Lee and David Woakes, at the QEII Centre, London, which attracted over 800 of the UK’s most influential manufacturing and political leaders to discuss the key topics: How do we establish our competitive advantage in this fast-changing, globalised world? How do we prepare ourselves for international marketplace of the 21st Century? Skills Remain Critical As Make UK’s Advantages Partner for recruitment services, it was refreshing to hear the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond MP, emphasise the importance of investment in skills during his dinner speech. “Making sure you have the right people to make your business grow is critical.” The Chancellor highlighted Government’s £500 million a year investment in T-level vocational training, £100 million into the new National Retraining Scheme, to make sure that British workers can face the challenge of technological change, and commitment to deliver 3 million high quality apprenticeships in this Parliament through the Apprenticeship Levy - all collectively reasserting the importance of technical education. As well as supporting future skills, Mr Hammond reiterated his commitment to investing in new technologies and innovation, modernising our roads and railways, cutting taxes for workers and for the businesses that employ them, along with reducing energy costs and carbon footprint as outlined in the Modern Industrial Strategy. Make UK's Recruitment Advantages Partner Make UK is a proactive organisation that we are proud to partner with in supporting British manufacturers. We work closely with Make UK as Recruitment Advantages Partner to provide expert resourcing solutions to members who may be struggling to recruit skilled individuals to assist in digital transformation or because of the ongoing skills shortage. Over the course of the partnership, we have successfully placed candidates in permanent, contract and interim positions from shop floor technicians, technical and commercial specialists to mid-level management and executive appointments. To find out more about Make UK click here.Jason Cole
Further to our recent post that listed 8 strengths and motivators of millennials in the workplace, I want to dig that bit deeper to understand the why behind these traits. The rate of change in technology and lifestyle, particularly over the past 80 years, has created massive shifts in attitude within each generation – and is the underlying reason why we can define generations so distinctively (see the table at the bottom of the blog). You may wonder why it’s important to consider this, however, prejudice towards millennials is surprisingly common, with many established professionals failing to recognise or understand the differences in their views. One of the most frequent frustrations aired by business leaders is a perceived lack of long term commitment (so called job-hopping), and more worryingly a categorisation of the new generation of workers as "entitled know-it-alls". but is this fair and justified?... Millennials are often portrayed as ‘generation nice’ with a everyone’s-a-winner mentality. This optimism stands at odds with the economic realities they face. Millennials have had to contend with entering a marketplace scarred from 9/11, the credit crunch and long-term austerity. Escalation in tuition fees and houses prices has made attaining degree/masters qualifications and home ownership unreachable for some. This generation is riding a wave of uncertainty, with Brexit providing the cherry on the cake. With this level of insecurity, we should not be surprised that millennials move jobs more frequently. For them, a job-for-life is an urban myth. Their motivations and expectations are very different from previous generations - they do not even expect employers to offer substantial pension schemes and their mindset is more attuned to instant gratification. They have grown up with technology that promotes immediacy; be it access to information, instant communication, shopping with next/same day delivery. On demand services and immediate credit agreements furnish easy access to luxuries and brands and debt is now expected rather than feared. Is this immediacy in everyday life what we see spilling over into work behaviours, with higher expectations for quick career progression, recognition and promotion? Affinity with and use of technology is synonymous with the millennial generation. Without memory of a time before the internet, they are used to interacting with devices for all their needs. This access has given them a more global perspective and an ability to inform themselves, but this prevalence of digital dealings can have a negative impact on leadership and influencing skills, where face to face communication, relationship-building and listening are still critical in the workplace. The flipside of this is that they’re highly digitally literate, picking up systems and applications intuitively and quickly. Need information? Ask Google, Siri or Alexa. Got a problem not seen before? Find a solution instantly through their online networks via YouTube, social media and specialist forums. Millennials are used to finding solutions quickly and autonomously. The downside? A potential reluctance to admit that a problem is beyond them or where they may really benefit from the direct experience of others. We are shaped by our environment and experiences, and this continues throughout our lives. Perhaps it’s more poignant to consider how millennials are going to change as they gain more experience. Will they retain these traits and values, or will they transform into something else entirely? Either way, millennials are not done in shaping the workplace and I can’t wait to see how millennials change the workplace through the adoption of disruptive technologies. Meanwhile Generation Z are beginning to enter the workplace – let’s see what happens… 2000 to present: Generation Z The next generation of workers that is still growing up. There is not a lot of data yet published about this generation, but they are already hooked on technology and the first truly digitally-native demographic. They are the first generation to experience an interactive classroom environment and are not used to passive learning environments (sit down and listen). Because of this, in the workplace they may lean towards a more collaborative approach, while technology, customisation and in-demand is an expectation in every aspect of their lives. 1980 to 2000: Millennials or Generation Y The first generation to reach adulthood in the new millennium, Generation Y comprises young technology gurus who thrive on new innovations, start-ups and fitting work around their lives; rather than the other way around. This blog-savvy generation was raised by parents who were less authoritative and so they grew up making their own rules. They are largely inseparable from their smart gadgets, their extra limb! 1965 to 1979: Generation X The first generation to value work-life balance. This generation’s worldview is based on change, on the need to combat corruption, dictatorships, abuse, AIDS, a generation in search of human dignity and individual freedom, the need for stability, love, tolerance, and human rights for all. As they got older, they have actually become fluent in technology and the use of mobile phones and tablets. The difference is they use these technologies as productivity tools rather than for social connectivity and engagement. 1946 to 1964: Baby Boomers The “flower power” generation is known for their pivotal roles in the civil rights movement, Woodstock and the Vietnam War. The term “Baby Boomer” was derived due to the dramatic increase in birth rates following World War II. This generation values relationships, as they did not grow up with technology running their lives. Baby Boomers grew up making phone calls and writing letters, solidifying strong interpersonal skills.Jason Cole
The skills shortage is continuing to hit the headlines and technical advancements are transforming how we work. It is critical that employers consider how to maximise employee skills and potential. When developing future workforces, businesses should be asking themselves: What makes millennials and Generation Z tick? How do they fit in with and learn from the wider team? How will you attract, retain and nurture the millennial generation to achieve both controlled and sustainable growth? Millennials (born between 1980 and 2000) now make up a significant proportion of the workforce as Generation X (born between 1960 and 1980) begins to reach retirement age, while career progression into senior and leadership roles is accelerating to suit millennials’ demand for faster recognition and promotion. The digital and technological landscape that they’ve grown up in has evolved resulting, in many cases, in behaviours and experiences very different to those of their parents. Time should be taken to understand their strengths and key motivators and consider how these attributes could bring value to your business: 8 strengths and motivators of millennials and gen z in the workplace 1. embrace digital natives – First and foremost, their ability to understand, adopt and implement new technology, use digital platforms and analyse data enables them to make informed decisions. Millennials want to digitalise processes and automate tasks which can often lead to creative thinking, unconstrained by precedent. Millennial leaders can challenge and improve the accepted practices and processes in manufacturing. 2. make a job an 'opportunity' – Simply advertising a job and promoting yourself as a good business is not enough. Millennials want a CV full of ‘cool’ or interesting projects, and evidence that they are fast-paced achievers. The traditional approach of asking ‘why I should employ you?’ will have less impact than outlining the ambition of the business, and asking them to illustrate how they think they can contribute to or shape the future of the business. 3. Are you social? – It is unlikely that you will find a millennial that doesn’t have a Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter account – make sure you are active on these platforms and channels otherwise you may be perceived as out of touch. What would you think if a potential employer didn’t have a website? This is probably the closest equivalent! 4. continUous development – Millennials crave new knowledge and challenges. They want to explore opportunities and learn new skills. Encouraging development will not only make their role more fulfilling but also provide an expanding skill-set which is important as 4IR continues to gain traction. Whilst not the absolute answer for retention it is certainly a factor that can improve your options and chance to keep individuals longer term. 5. engage for the longer term – Many employers cited a two-year timeframe after which millennials seek to move on to a new role. How do you ensure that you mitigate this? Engage with the employee, give them a channel to discuss their aspirations and frustrations. Think more creatively, in addition to personal and professional development, you may want to consider graduate loan pay off schemes, sabbatical leave options, flexible working or individualised rewards 6. create realistic expectations – The ‘run before you can walk’ spirit is in many ways positive, an indicator of ambition, but it is important that expectations are realistic and can be met. Businesses need to therefore be clear about what needs to be achieved before moving up the career ladder. 7. independence – It is important to not micro-manage individuals that excel when they are allowed to think more freely, uninhibited by traditional protocols. However, recognition of the importance of learning from the wider team, their experiences, past successes and mistakes is also crucial. Effective mentoring or buddying schemes with senior, experienced team members creates trust, team spirit and delivers the benefits of knowledge and skills transfer. 8. salary over benefits – Financial reward is key. The overarching salary is more important to millennials than other benefits they might receive. So be open and prepared to offer higher hourly rates or salaries rather than car packages or pensions. hiring for attitude and training for skills This by no means supersedes the old adage of hiring for attitude and training for skills. However, the next generation of leaders, workers and customers are millennials, so adapting or investing now may give you a competitive edge. contact us If you would like to discuss how we can help you maximise your employees' skills and bridge the skills gap contact me on 01384 446149 or email me.Jason Cole
Jonathan Lee Recruitment has announced it has become a core partner of the Future of British Manufacturing Initiative (FoBMI). FoBMI, led by engineering design software specialists Autodesk, brings a hands-on approach to helping UK design and manufacturing SMEs break through theory and embrace the digital technologies encompassed within the Internet of Things (IoT). As one of the core partners we will bring their expertise in advanced manufacturing and engineering to provide skills advice to SMEs involved with the initiative. One of the key components of the initiative is the FoBMI readiness assessment tool which can be accessed here. This provides the first step to gaining practical and realistic advice to businesses wanting to improve and adopt disruptive technologies. A key aim of this initiative is to add substance to the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) or Industry 4.0; the readiness assessment tool provides the first step to practical advice to make better products, improve productivity and increase profitability. We want to demonstrate that the benefits associated with Industry 4.0 are truly accessible to businesses of all sizes. 4IR continues to build momentum, and if companies are not including this phenomenon in their strategic planning processes, they are already behind the curve. Our SME client base acknowledges that industry is changing, and customer expectations are evolving with smarter, better connected and customised products, but don’t often have the time, digital skill-set or digital knowledge to know where to begin. FoBMI is about removing the jargon and buzzwords, identifying which elements of 4IR are actually relevant and providing practical help to getting started. We are looking forward to working with the Future of British Manufacturing Initiative (FoMBI) to share our expertise and support businesses in navigating these changes and preparing themselves, and their workforce for the future. Asif Moghal, Senior Industry Manager at Autodesk added: “We are thrilled to welcome Jonathan Lee Recruitment as a core partner - their commitment to addressing future skills challenges and in-depth understanding of 4IR transformation will be invaluable. “British manufacturing continues to experience incredible pressure to remain competitive thanks to increasing globalisation, aggressive competition and a greater sophistication of the products requested by consumers to be designed and manufactured. “Combine these factors with disruptors like cloud, mobile computing, additive and subtractive manufacturing and you’re describing an environment that is complex. Once demystified, it has the potential to create impressive, new and sometimes unimaginable opportunities for those who are innovative and agile, no matter the business size. “We are truly serious about enabling British manufacturing. The industry needs to roll its sleeves up and work together to deliver some pragmatic initiatives that genuinely make a difference to the typical manufacturer, who doesn’t have the resources of larger organisations. “Alongside our core partners, FoBMI will support any SME requiring guidance. Our overall aim is to make the UK a global leader in the 4th Industrial Revolution.” FoBMI core partners also include Lloyds Bank, Simon-Kucher & Partners, FBC Manby Bowdler and MacIntyre Hudson Associates. To complete the assessment form please click here. For more information on the Future of British Manufacturing initiative, visit autodesk.co.uk/FoBMI.Jason Cole
Future of British Manufacturing Presentation 11.00 am, Wednesday 31st October Stand M48, Jonathan Lee Recruitment Advanced Engineering 2018 NEC, Birmingham Jonathan Lee Recruitment recently became a core partner of the Future of British Manufacturing Initiative (FoBMI) and will be marking the partnership by hosting an informal introduction at Advanced Engineering 2018. Visitors are invited to stand M48 at 11.00 am on the opening day of the exhibition (Wednesday 31st October), where Asif Moghal, Senior Industry Manager - Autodesk, Chris Greenough, Commercial Director - Salop Design & Engineering and Dr Megan Rohayne, Memberships Development Manager - EEF will discuss the initiative, progression of 4IR and the changes required for future skills. "We are very aware of the challenges facing manufacturers today, specifically the need to embrace digital initiatives and new technology and the impact this has on their people. We’re delighted to be working with the Future of British Manufacturing Initiative to support businesses navigating these changes and preparing themselves, and their employees, for the future. We are thrilled that Asif, Chris and Megan will be joining us on our stand (M48) at Advanced Engineering 2018 to discuss how the initiative can help, particularly, the SME community. We invite manufacturing and engineering businesses looking to futureproof their business to join us and receive advice from our guest speakers. One of the key components of the initiative is the readiness assessment, which can be accessed here or during the exhibition, where our team will assist visitors in completing the free assessment. The tool offers practical and realistic advice to businesses wanting to make better products, improve productivity and increase profitability through the use of disruptive technologies. We’re looking forward to meeting manufacturers at Advanced Engineering and introducing them to the tool.” If you would like to pre-arrange an appointment call me on 01384 446176. To find out more click here.Jason Cole
We will be attending Advanced Engineering 2018 at the NEC, 31 Oct - 1 Nov in Birmingham, to showcase our sector expertise and talk to visitors about challenges including 4IR, skills shortage and Brexit. Celebrating its 10th year, Advanced Engineering is one of the UK’s largest annual gatherings of OEMs and engineering supply chain professionals and showcases technologies and solutions across co-located show zones. This is a great opportunity for us to showcase our 40 years of expertise within advanced engineering and manufacturing recruitment. We’re very aware of the challenges facing manufacturers today, specifically the need to embrace digital initiatives and new technology and the impact this has on their people. We’re delighted to be working with businesses navigating these changes and preparing themselves, and their employees, for the future. We will be exhibiting on stand M48 with expert consultants from a range of industry sectors including aerospace, automotive and FMCG.Jason Cole
More than 350 people packed the ICC last week to recognise the achievements of apprentices from across the Midlands at the In-Comm Apprentice Awards 2018. Team members from Jonathan Lee Recruitment attended the event, enjoying the fantastic atmosphere, made all the more fun by tongue-in-cheek, Black Country comedian, Doreen Tipton. Jonathan Lee Recruitment sponsored the Ambassador of the Year award, which celebrated inspirational individuals that have been pro-active in helping to increase the number, quality and impact of apprentices. Congratulation to Keith Collins from Castings plc who picked up the top award and Philip Newell from PP Controls & Automation, who was highly commended. There was a definite feel of ‘girl power’ with two female apprentices claiming the main prizes, who had gone above and beyond on their courses to have a positive impact. Integrated Water Services’ Laura Thacker was named as the Most Improved Learner of the Year having overcome several setbacks to develop her skills and excel in her apprenticeship, whilst Maria Collins from IMI Precision (Norgren) secured the title of Outstanding Learner of the Year and Peter Wood Memorial. Other winners at the In-Comm Awards 2018 included: Learner of the Year – Business Support: Jack Shakespeare (Ames Group) Learner of the Year – Supervisory Management: Marc Edwards (Walsall Pressings) Learner of the Year – Continuous Improvement: Lloyd Scarsbrook (CPE Pressure Vessels) Learner of the Year – Engineering & Manufacturing Technologies: Maria Collins (IMI Precision) The Awards also celebrated businesses who recognise the importance of and invest in apprenticeships, with Birmingham-based precision metal stamping specialist Brandauer taking the Employer of the Year title for the way it has made apprentices more than 15% of its total workforce, helping to retain specialist skills and reduce the average age profile of staff in the process, ensuring the business is fit for the future. The Awards also put a spotlight on In-Comm mentors who pass their expertise and knowledge to apprentices on a day to day basis. Gareth Jones, Managing Director at In-Comm Training commented: “Bridging the skills gap has to be a joint effort; it has to be a concoction of businesses getting involved, young people having the right work ethic, parents not being afraid to give their blessing to vocational learning and education to understand what industry has to offer. “The days of dark satanic mills, oily factories and battered old machinery is not the norm any longer. Instead, manufacturing and engineering are awash with robotics, CAD/CAM systems, precision CNC machines and state-of-the-art metrology.” Biggest congratulations to all the nominees and winners. #InCommA18 #ukmfg #FutureSkillsJason Cole
In our 40th anniversary year we are delighted to be supporting the InComm Awards taking place on June 8th 2018 at the International Convention Centre, Birmingham. The future of UK engineering and manufacturing is a topic that we care about deeply at Jonathan Lee Recruitment and the shortage of skilled engineers has been one of our core talking points and concerns. Attracting new talent into the sector is critical and we are delighted to have seen a renewed focus and energy for apprenticeships over the last couple of years and we are committed to supporting the continuation of this. InComm Training has been a pioneering force in driving apprenticeship engagement, with the growth and development of their training centres and services having already benefited many of our clients. Having personally attended the recent grand opening of their extended training facility in Aldridge and having been a regular at technology, careers and skills events at the Marches Centre, I have never failed to be impressed either by their facilities or the calibre of the apprentices I have met which can be attributed to Incomm’s dedication to providing the very highest quality training. The 2018 Awards ceremony, taking place at the International Convention Centre Birmingham on 8th June, will celebrate the UK’s best learners and employers. #FutureSkills For us, ensuring that we have a long term skilled workforce to support the sector is crucial to the ongoing success of British engineering and manufacturing. The UK is renowned for having the best engineers in the world and we want to ensure it remains a centre for innovation and cutting-edge technology. We have committed to supporting the #FutureSkills campaign in 2018, in line with our 4IR strategy. The campaign looks at ways to bring new talent into the sector and how employers can up-skill or re-train their existing workforces to manage new technologies and increased digitalisation. In my capacity as Group Business Development Manager, I also sit on the board of the Black Country Skills Factory where InComm are one of the major providers of training for both apprentices and workforce upskilling, providing a series of “bite sized” courses to local SMEs. This initiative, alongside the ongoing investment required to continue forward looking and progressive learning programmes are excellent examples of the type of funded schemes that companies are now making the most of, as it is recognised that people are the single-most important asset of every business. Apprenticeships The Apprenticeship Levy offers a route to improved training and development for businesses. We have seen a sharp increase in the number of companies setting up training operations both for their own teams and for external candidates all of which will help to address the major issues we are facing today; productivity, skills shortages, new technology and 4IR.Jason Cole
This week Jonathan Lee Recruitment will be presenting alongside the EEF in a seminar entitled ‘Manufacturing Connect: Future Factories’. The seminar forms part of the Black Country Business Festival and will highlight how the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) is shaping future skills and leadership. ‘Manufacturing Connect: Future Factories', Black Country Business Festival Thursday 26th April 2018 8.00 – 10.00am Venue: ZF Lemforder UK, Heath Road, Wednesbury. WS108LS Manufacturing is embarking on the fourth industrial revolution, but what does that really mean for a modern manufacturer? The implications are not just new technologies, but the skills that are required and the potential revolution of whole business models. Jason Cole, Client Relationship Manager, will be presenting alongside EEF’s Charlotte Horobin, Regional Director for Midlands & East and Tim Kibble, Director of ZF Lemforder UK Ltd to discuss how 4IR is transforming manufacturing. Future skills initiative Jonathan Lee Recruitment has a focus on future skills, supporting the EEF and its members to become fourth industrial revolution (4IR) ready. 4IR is reliant on a strong base of digital culture and skills. Jason Cole explains “We are thrilled to be partnering with the EEF, sharing our combined specialist knowledge about 4IR with EEF members and the wider business community. We are engaging with many businesses, particularly SMEs, to discuss the new skills and approach required. “It’s fitting that we present this topic in the Black Country; an area whose roots sit firmly within the last Industrial Revolution. The Black Country has historically been one of the one of the most industrialised parts of Britain and now boasts some of the country’s most advanced manufacturing and engineering names. “There is huge potential for local businesses wanting to capitalise on these new disruptive technologies.” Join this event to share best practice with like-minded manufacturers to see what the future might bring. For more information visit: https://bcbf.ticketleap.com/manufacturing-connect-future-factories/details #ThisIsTheBlackCountry #ukmfg #FutureSkillsJason Cole
Last month, team members from Jonathan Lee attended the EEF Future Manufacturing Awards Finals.Jason Cole
October marks the second anniversary of the EEF Advantages Partnership with specialist consultancy, Jonathan Lee Recruitment. Since the launch of the partnership, Jonathan Lee Recruitment has assisted many EEF members across England and Wales with access to a broad base of technical, engineering and manufacturing talent. Jason Cole
Jonathan Lee Recruitment FMCG division exhibited at the Food and Drink Engineering and Processing Summit last week and are pleased to report that the food and drink sector is upbeat despite market uncertainty.Jason Cole
Jonathan Lee Recruitment’s Client Relationship Manager, Jason Coles, has been appointed as a representative of the Rail Supply Group SME Council. The Rail Supply Group (RSG) formed the RSG SME Council, a group made up of UK rail industry SMEs, in recognition of the significant contribution and further contribution SMEs can have to the rail industry and wider economy. SMEs form a key part of the rail sector and, with further access, could help deliver a transformative ‘world leading’ transport network - creating a brand that can be exported across the world.Jason Cole
It seems we are constantly being told how critical automation is to the future of manufacturing. A topical subject across the media, it promises a utopia; increasing productivity, improving quality, removing repetitive manual jobs and replacing with highly skilled operational / maintenance jobs and improving health and safety. For many of our larger clients; OEMs and corporates, they have been investing in automated production and products for a number of years and even exploring connect 4IR concepts such as the Internet of Things. The concept being that businesses can retrieve ‘big data’ from their automated systems and unearth useful information or trends that can be fed back into their processes to further improve the efficiency of their operations. For our SME client base, this ‘reality’ doesn’t seem quite as easy to grasp. Capital, time and resources are not so easily available and so it becomes something only considered accessible or even necessary by big businesses. Automation is rapidly changing the business environment and the opportunities available should be considered by businesses of all sizes - it’s time to remove the myths and assumptions surrounding automation. It’s only for large organisations This is certainly not the case, in fact those fore running SME companies that embrace automation and indeed the concepts surrounding Industry 4.0 will find themselves competitive on a global scale. It’s not for us When systems and operations have a success formula that have stood the test of time for years or even decades, it is difficult to comprehend adjusting a proven architecture. However, one must consider how competitors may move forward. Will this push our product to the end of its life cycle? How and when will you need to adapt? If we think how the digital revolution changed the music industry in the 2000's, established norms were removed at an extremely fast pace – established brands disappeared and buying habits transformed. Imagine if a competitor invested in automated systems which allowed them to produce items faster, cheaper, with improved quality and accurately or intelligently and customised at no extra effort or cost. Imagine if you were that visionary company. It’s too expensive The cost and also how the capital is raised is a sticking point for many SMEs. The ramifications of the 2008 banking collapse still linger in the memory of many business leaders and the risks associated with lending should not be taken lightly. Of course, there is a cost attached to adopting automated processes, however, SMEs considering whether to invest can make a rational and calculated decision prior to committing to any expenditure by speaking to a systems integrator. Viewing the exercise as an investment rather than a cost is key. How can an SME get automated? Many questions an SME may have can be answered by talking to an automation partner / systems integrator. They will be able to identify areas where automation can add value to a manufacturing process and identify: How their facilities could adopt automation, what type of automation could assist What capital investment they would require and a forecast return on investment running over a number of years What internal training / up-skill your workforce would need While the list above is very much simplified, it outlines the first stepping stones to considering automation. Perhaps, one of the most important elements is to get people into the mind-set of 4.0 culture and engagement. Creating a culture where the employees are engaged and want to improve the business is key. SMEs should not think automation is not within their grasp. Take the first step and speak to a systems integrator. Why not open the door to wider market opportunities and potentially compete in a global arena?Jason Cole
Manufacturing business were upbeat about the potential business transformation that technology is bringing at a recent Made in the Midlands Roundtable event on Manufacturing for the future, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) hosted by engineering and manufacturing recruitment specialist Jonathan Lee Recruitment, at Ricoh UK’s Telford facility.Jason Cole