Engineering & Technical Market Overview

With first stage of the London 2012 Olympic Games finished and all the athletes and spectators gone our City returns to relative normality.  There has been such a buzz in the air and it seems the fantastic achievements by Team GB have really lifted the spirits of the nation.

In this blog we are focusing on the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs published this month as it provides the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour market, drawing on original survey data provided by recruitment consultancies.
These findings are based on the Engineering and Technical Sectors

Market Conditions
Staff appointments fall at slower pace:
Although there were further reductions in both permanent and short-term staff appointments during July, in both cases the rates of decline eased slightly since June.

Growth of vacancies eases:
The number of vacancies available to jobseekers continued to increase during July, but the latest improvement was the least marked for six months.

Further improvement in candidate availability:
Recruitment consultants indicated that the availability of staff continued to rise in July. Solid improvements in both permanent and temporary/contract staff availability were recorded.

Vacancy data showed that higher demand from private sector employers offset a further decrease in public sector demand. By category, one of the strongest rise for permanent staff was signalled in the Engineering sector.

Institution responds to 22 per cent rise in UK car manufacturing:

Philippa Oldham, Head of Manufacturing at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers said in response to the 22% rise in UK car manufacturing:

“The rise in UK car manufacturing figures is very welcome and shows that the UK can still be a manufacturing powerhouse. But while some industries like car and aerospace manufacturing are bucking the trend and seeing strong growth, recent figures show that UK manufacturing as a whole is still shrinking.

“The success of UK car manufacturing should motivate Government to take urgent action to support manufacturing so that we can see other industries become UK success stories.

“Government needs to work with industry and other political parties to develop a detailed manufacturing and industrial strategy with cross-party support. Industry needs this certainty and also needs greater access to capital investment in order to invest in new production plants, machinery and training.”

More students must study STEM courses at A-level:

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) says that an extra 200,000 engineering professionals will be needed by 2020. Currently, the UK is only producing 25 to 50 per cent of the engineering graduates that the economy needs.

Stephanie Fernandes, IET Principal Policy Advisor for Education and Skills said: “Whilst entries for STEM subjects have risen, it is important that young people continue their studies into higher education; the country needs more people studying science and engineering subjects at university and taking up jobs in this sector.

“We are at risk of stifling economic growth if we do not encourage more students to study STEM subjects which are crucial to increase the output of UK plc.”

There is huge demand for engineers. The IET’s skills survey for 2012 shows that over the next year, 58 per cent of companies are planning to recruit compared to just 36 per cent in 2011.

London and the Olympics

The London 2012 Olympics are into their second week and there is a genuine buzz in the Capital especially with the British success so far being third in the medal table. Intersect were lucky enough to have enjoyed a team day out at the Excel Centre watching the light and welterweight men’s boxing, the atmosphere was fantastic and the venue was very well organised and welcoming.   The games seem to be very well run and rather than the heavily congested streets and trains we all expected much of Central London has never seemed so quiet.

Olympic Buildings

Here is great link showing the impressive Olympic buildings, which one is your favourite?

Market Conditions

The summer is traditionally when recruitment slows down somewhat partly due to people going away for their holidays. We are pleased to see that whilst this is the case with some of our clients many are continuing to prioritise recruitment and taking on both freelance and permanent staff on a range of civil engineering, energy and infrastructure projects.

There is more good news for the energy / renewable sector on the horizon as Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has outlined plans for a £100m fund for green investment and welcomed new jobs from the renewables sector. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ UK Green Investments team is awarding £100m of initial funding to two Non-Domestic Energy Efficiency fund managers, Equitix and Sustainable Development Capital.

The companies will actively encourage foreign and domestic investment in NDEE projects, alongside UK government funds with money co-invested pari passu with private investors on each deal, BIS said.

The government investments pave the way for the UK Green Investment Bank, which is expected to open later this year following state aid approval.

Clegg said: “There is a global energy revolution underway. And the UK is not going to be left behind. We’re leading from the front. Together we find ourselves at the vanguard of one of the most dynamic, most innovative, most important industries of our time; an industry whose breakthroughs and endeavours will shape our societies for years to come; an industry that will help us build a more stable, more sustainable, more prosperous world.”

REA chief executive Gaynor Hartnell welcomed the Deputy Prime Minister’s “unequivocal commitment to renewable energy”, but warned “clear leadership” from the top of Government on renewable energy was required.

She said: “He is quite right that a global energy revolution is underway and we look forward to working with him to ensure the UK fulfils its extraordinary potential.

“However, the Coalition Government needs to do much better on providing a clear and stable policy framework to make sure the UK isn’t left further behind. Recent decisions on support levels for renewable power technologies, which have failed to provide the expected certainty out to 2017, together with the uncertain status of the Electricity Market Reform package, do not provide the stable framework that industry needs,” she addeed

Energy and climate change secretary Edward Davey said: “The UK Government is taking the necessary steps to develop a secure, clean energy mix, and this is opening up massive, long-term investment opportunities.    “Britain is one of the easiest places to do business in the world and I am determined to maintain our reputation as a stable destination for energy. investment.”