Manufacturing firms under pressure with recruitment

Results from the UK’s latest quarterly manufacturing barometer have painted a concerning picture over a lack of recruitment occurring within the sector.

This very much applies to the confectionery and bakery sector, and it will be of particular concern that turnover and profit figures have reduced over the past twelve months for many firms.

The issue has not been improved surrounding Brexit, which has left many workers from across Europe feeling unable to consider relocating to the UK, while residency rights remain problematic.

According to the SME survey compiled by SWMAS (South West Manufacturing Advisory Service) and Economic Growth Solutions, when asked whether it was more difficult now to find skilled and motivated people than it was 12 months ago, 54% reported it was either “much more difficult” (24%) or “somewhat more difficult” (30%). Just 4% responded that they found it easier to recruit now than a year ago.

In response to being quizzed about their growth aspirations, a fifth (20%) referenced an urgent need for certainty on Brexit, while worryingly 15% defined “survival” as their “immediate aspiration”.

With the UK government having just withdrawn its opposition to a Bill seeking to ensure that Britain leaves the EU with a deal, then this may potentially improve recruitment prospects as far as UK firms attracting the best possible talent from around Europe.

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