With all sectors seeing unprecedented demands for talent, it’s perhaps not surprising that the number of engineering job vacancies has risen consistently in the past 15 months, with the latest Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) research showing an encouraging uptick in application numbers for the sector.
Commenting on the news, Dan Goodson, Head of Practice – Industrial, said, “In terms of procurement and supply chain recruitment, the industrial space has been incredibly busy – notably since the widespread return to office-based work.
“With engineering playing a key role in the economy, it’s no surprise that APSCO’s data is showing a raise in vacancies – but it is really positive to see that there has also been a rise in applications within this space.
“Alongside engineering, we’ve seen clear hiring demand for procurement and supply chain professionals in the energy and defence sectors, which has led to us taking on retained recruitment mandates for a number of leading brands.”
The data, provided by Broadbean Technology, revealed that, when comparing data from Q1 2022 with Q4 2021, both the number of job vacancies and applications increased by nearly 20% and 22% respectively.
This increase in application numbers is a promising sign for a sector that has historically faced a dearth of talent.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, salaries also edged up slightly in the first half of 2022, which suggests many employers are using financial incentives as a top talent attraction tool.
Dan added, “Companies are having to be creative to entice the top talent.
“A strong financial package will always be attractive, but we are seeing – and actively encouraging – organisations we recruit for to sell the opportunity, be that through describing the culture, working patterns or career progression opportunities in the job description or at interview.”
Across the regions, Greater London holds the majority of the engineering vacancies, recording over 5000 jobs for the year so far, with the West Midlands taking second place with over 2,000 jobs. West Yorkshire, Hampshire, South Yorkshire and Bristol closely followed, all recording in excess of 1000 jobs each. The top two regions have relatively strong candidate numbers, with APV rates of 23 and 22, followed by Greater Manchester (21). And while Middlesbrough achieved an impressive top score of 35 applications per vacancy, job numbers in these two locations were fairly small.
Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo, commented, “It’s extremely promising to see that application numbers in engineering are increasing, but our data does suggest that the best talent is coming at a cost, with salaries also rising.
“While actions such as upskilling existing staff, hiring from wider talent pools to boost diversity and increasing the number of women in engineering, will all be key in helping to narrow skill shortages, greater support from our government is needed to help make the UK’s employment market globally competitive and fit for purpose in the current economic landscape.”