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Manufacturing skills shortages set to reach tipping point with the Great Resignation

by Jessica Weisman-Pitts
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weld SBI 300818007

29 September 2021

With the latest reports from CBI revealing that UK manufacturing output is still struggling to keep pace with demand, global recruitment software provider, JobAdder, has warned that the manufacturing sector is balancing on a skills tipping point, with the Great Resignation set to push resourcing challenges into a critical position.

The September CBI Industrial Trends Survey reported that total order books in September improved to their highest since records began in 1977, however output growth slowed for the second month in a row. A spokesperson from the CBI highlighted that skill and labour shortages are one of the issues impacting output levels.

According to JobAdder, this issue will only be exacerbated by the Great Resignation that the sector is facing as both the agieng workforce and a desire to switch roles as the economy starts to recover begin to have a detrimental impact on resources.

Rob Brodie, Head of Corporate Sales at JobAdder, commented:

“Skills shortages are certainly one of the biggest concerns for everyone across the UK at the moment. The combination of Covid and Brexit has had a detrimental impact on resources across the country. For the manufacturing sector, though, the Great Resignation is only adding to limited resources – and there’s a concerning number of employers that are unprepared to tackle this.

“While the skills shortage across manufacturing is no easy problem to solve, there are numerous small steps that can make a huge difference, but which are – in many cases – being overlooked. Speed is of the essence in this environment, but many employers are still operating their hiring from a static excel spreadsheet. Fishing from the same pool for resources is another challenge, with hiring managers often turning to their trusted networks which may have been useful in the past, but are arguably hugely limited now.

“Although there is a need to upskill the UK’s manufacturing resources on a longer-term basis, in order to address the more immediate challenges, a more dynamic approach to hiring is required. Now more than ever, recruitment practices need to evolve from the out-dated Excel spreadsheet to something that is proactive, responsive, and enables a significant improvement in talent acquisitions in time to hire.”