Re-engaging dis-engaged workers in the automotive industry

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14 July 2014


The future rapid growth of the automotive industry relies on companies re-engaging disaffected workers who left at the start of the recession, according to Interim Managing Director, Phillip Machell.

In a candidate-short market, companies might need to re-assess their recruitment policy and work hard to woo back thousands of engineers who moved into aerospace and rail, seeing it as a more stable long-term proposition. 

The car industry is growing at a rapid rate and The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) suggested recently that by 2017 the UK could be building more than two million cars a year, a new record.

Research carried out by Ford & Stanley, a specialist recruitment and talent services company, showed that with a lack of available talent to meet current demand, if the industry was to hit those predicted targets it needed to turn to engineers who had left.

Over 70 per cent of those questioned believed that the skills shortage could not be addressed adequately by new engineers joining the industry.

Phillip Machell, who has worked at the forefront of the automotive recruiting for over 20 years, said: “When the crash came a lot of people left the industry over a very short space of time. To them, automotive seemed unstable and other markets seemed more viable and more attractive.

“Companies need to start having conversations with those who left to persuade them that automotive is a stable, forward thinking and exciting industry to be in once again and no more at risk of crashing as the industry they moved into.

“There is a lot of capacity and a lot of capability in automotive, but without those conversations taking place, without re-igniting their passion, there is a real risk the growth of the industry will be stunted.

“Companies might have to rethink their recruitment policies but everyone is telling us – clients and candidates alike – this is route to success.”

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