Free cookie consent management tool by TermsFeed Blog - Skills shortages hits engineering sector as permanent staff enjoy increases in pay | Redline Group Recruitment News and Blogs | Redline Group Ltd

Skills shortages hits engineering sector as permanent staff enjoy increases in pay

The latest figures from Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) monthly publication ‘Report on Jobs’, produced by IHS Markit, reveals Recruitment Consultancies indicated a sharp rise in Permanent placements. 
Key points:

  • Permanent placements rise sharply, but contract / temporary billings growth eases to 13-month low
  • Candidate availability declines at softest pace for a year
  • Pay pressure remained marked   

March data signaled a further sharp increase in permanent staff placements across the UK. There are more people entering employment, however it doesn’t make up for the shortfall of candidates for many roles. Staff vacancies continued to rise markedly at the end of the first quarter, despite growth of demand easing slightly to the lowest for 15 months. This was driven by a weaker upturn in contract and temporary staff positions.

Average starting salaries awarded to people placed in permanent jobs rose further in March.  Higher salaries were generally linked by scarcity of talent and low candidate availability.

Overall, candidate availability continued to decline during March, though the latest reduction was the weakest seen for one year. As a result, employers are being more competitive by increasing starting pay to attract candidates from their current roles into new positions.

Hourly pay rates for contract and interim staff increased again in March, thereby extending the current trend to 62 months. Notably, the rate of inflation edged up to a six-month record. According to respondents, reduced candidate availability was a key factor increasing contract and interim pay.

An overall indicator of staff availability was also calculated. Engineering job roles led the rankings for demand for permanent staff during March, closely followed by IT & Computing and Accounting & Financial jobs. Key permanent staff skills reported in short supply included:

  • Engineering job roles: Aerospace, Design Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Engineering Management and Mechanical Engineering roles.
  • IT & Computing job roles: Cyber Security, C#, DevOps Software Engineers, PHP and Net Developers.
  • Accounting & Financial job roles: Accountants, Audit, Credit Controllers, Digital Finance, and Procurement. 

Adam Walker, Redline Group Director comments:

“It was announced by the government that 2018 will be the ‘Year of Engineering’. It is now widely recognised that the high-tech and engineering sector is facing a skills crisis like never before, and measures need to be taken to help the leaders of the engineering industry fill the jobs that are integral to the field.

According to the government’s study, for the engineering sector to gain enough candidates to reduce the skills shortage, they would need around 186,000 skilled recruits each year until 2024.

This report continues to highlight the problems faced by employers in the engineering and high-tech sector especially within the UK economy. Candidates planning to move jobs are in a strong position to demand increased salary and benefits packages well above inflation.

In the European Union (EU) there are a number of countries, such as Germany, reporting various bottlenecks in different engineering fields. Bottlenecks are jobs that employers have had problems in the past to find and hire staff and expect the same in the future. On a list of bottlenecks across all occupations within the EU, mechanical engineers are ranked seventh and electrical engineers tenth.

When it comes to newer and experimental engineering fields such as software system engineering, PHP, and C#, highly skilled employees are even more in-demand. “Employers need to look at other means to retain staff, such as creating an attractive work culture, training opportunities and offering progression opportunities.

Plugging the skills gap is going to be a long process, but there is hope. The government, industry leaders and engineering enthusiasts alike have all begun to look at solutions to a staffing problem. Whether the resolution comes in the form of STEM, the school syllabus or adult training schemes, recognising the engineering crisis in the UK is the first step towards solving it.”

Adam continues:  “Specialist recruitment partners offering a knowledge-led approach are even more key to hard pushed employers trying to find staff. We understand that there’s only one thing that really matters: results.”

If you would like to know more about our customised approach to client engagement, please contact Adam Walker on 01582 450054 or email



Fill out the form below to let us know about a vacancy you would like us to advertise for you.

Click here


Register your details to access the latest vacancies, create job alerts and much more.