Last updated: 27.09.13

Training 'must be prioritised' by engineering businesses

Engineering companies must invest in training younger employees rather than poaching workers from other firms with a few years' experience.

This is according to David Wick, managing director at European Recruitment, who claimed in a post for Electronics Weekly that British businesses are focusing on short-term results, when they should be concentrating on long-term engagement.

Instead of just taking on new staff because they have had a similar role previously, bosses would be better off hiring younger, creative minds and moulding them into the workforce they want to see through effective training and development.

Mr Wick pointed to the fact it is much harder to source individuals in the engineering industry with two to five years' experience, but there are lots of talented university leavers out there willing to adapt to a firm's needs.

"Why would a new graduate want to move from the company or industry that gave them their first foot on the career ladder in tough times, has trained them up [and] pays them well?" he said.

Meanwhile, the engineering firms that have failed to recruit highly qualified young people are now struggling to find the best talent and face a shortage of skilled staff.

Mr Wick used Siemens as an example, which has a workforce of 370,000 individuals and has always been committed to taking on top science, technology, engineering, and mathematics graduates.

Through thorough training as part of its 30-year strategy, the company has equipped its new starters with niche skills unique to Siemens that help drive innovation and growth.

Other engineering or electronics businesses that want to give graduates a headstart in the industry could make their firm seem more attractive to young people by offering online training, as it gives them the chance to exercise their digital skills at the same time as learning new ones.

Virtual College is one provider that organisations could turn to, as the institution boasts online modules in a number of key subjects, including find out more here.