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Opportunity Knocks

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has released further positive news in this month’s Research Update Summary publication. The REC states that “89% of employers will increase or maintain their temporary workforce in the next 3 months”. Due to the much publicised skills shortage, it seems that employers are increasingly turning their attention to temporary labour to help address the shortfall.

So, why is the emergence of temporary labour a good thing, compared to securing permanent employment?

Well, the reason why this is a positive step, is that it represents an opportunity for semi-skilled or newly time served engineers to gain workplace exposure, in order to upskill their competency. It also gives them the opportunity to gain vital work experience, which will improve their overall capabilities and marketability in the longer term. In my experience as a recruiter sourcing permanent engineers, prospective employers approach Westray Recruitment Consultants for the finished article. They look for someone who can hit the ground running and who posesses all the relevant skills to meet the requirements of the job brief. Rightly or wrongly, prospective employers are less likely to make allowances for the shortfall in skills with emerging Engineers, for permanent job roles. This without doubt causes a problem in itself, as the only way to counteract the skills gap, is to provide the next generation of engineering talent with the opportunity to gain the experience they require, in order to become masters of their craft.

The increase in the number of temporary opportunities becoming available, is without doubt a positive step, as it offers budding engineers a foot in the door and an opportunity to prove their worth. In the engineering sector, experience is not gained at interview but in the application of work. Therefore with increased opportunities, new skills will be harnessed and for those workers who display the right attitude, desire to learn and commitment, they will undoubtedly rise to the top. The rewards such as permanent contracts and increased remuneration will naturally follow.

All in all, the rise in contract labour can definitely be viewed as a positive thing. Why? Because it will go some way to addressing the skills gap by providing a platform for newly qualified engineers and emerging talent, to demonstrate and develop their skill set so they are ready to embrace future challenges and opportunities.

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