News | Published March 05 2020

Arromax Engineering working to counteract skills shortage

The issues surrounding the skills shortfall in the engineering industry are well-documented, with a recent survey highlighting that 37 per cent of 250 engineering professionals see the deficit as having the biggest impact on the sector. However, one firm, Arromax Engineering, is finding ways to tackle the deficit and thrive in a challenging landscape.

The survey, commissioned by MPA, highlighted a number of prominent issues in the industry, but the skills deficit was highlighted as the worst by 37 per cent of the 250 interviewees, followed by automation [22 per cent], new materials [17 per cent] and data [ten per cent].

In fact, some estimates suggest that the shortage of STEM skills may be costing UK firms around £1.5 billion per year in additional costs such as recruitment, extra training to upskill staff, temporary staffing and inflated salaries.

MPA senior technical analyst, Nigel Urquhart, said: “Engineering companies in the UK are respected all over the world for their quality and innovation, but we need to ensure that as an industry we are recruiting the best and brightest minds into roles across the sector.

“STEM education and training support are vital for making sure the UK’s economy continues to thrive and will play a key part in ensuring the UK reaches the current government target of 2.4 per cent of GDP being spent on R&D by 2027.”

Urquhart believes that the problem is being exacerbated by firms not making the most of the resources available to them and proactively investing in apprentices and training.

One scheme that is often overlooked is the government’s research and development [R&D] tax credit scheme.

The initiative allows companies to claim back up to 33 pence for every £1 spent on R&D.

Urquhart adds: “The UK is currently lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to innovation, research and development, and this could be because so many eligible companies are not utilising the financial support available.

“Initiatives like the R&D Tax Credit scheme allow businesses to free up vital funds that can be used to fund further innovation, which could help ensure UK engineering stays at the forefront of the industry.”

Nottinghamshire based Arromax Engineering, however, has placed a commitment to investing in training at the forefront of its ethos, an approach which is largely responsible for its excellence in the sector while competitors and fellow operators experience recruitment woes.

Speaking to The Parliamentary Review, managing director Ryan Ward emphasised the importance of company culture in allowing a workforce to thrive and for recruitment of quality staff to be at its most effective.

Ward said: "At Arromax Engineering, we are genuinely committed to investing in people, apprentices, training and creating the right culture.

"This means obtaining the correct staff to create an Arromax Engineering brand mantra, whereby both employer and employee strive towards the same goal."

By taking a more people and future-centric approach, Ward added that there is no need for the company to advertise vacancies, with professionals actually seeking out the firm themselves to come on board.

Ward said: "With regard to job vacancies, there is no longer any need to advertise; we now find that quality professionals seek us out for employment.

It is also worth noting that a happy workforce makes for a productive workforce – as glib as it might sound, its significance cannot be overestimated."

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Authored by

Scott Challinor
Business Editor
March 05 2020

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