Food and drink manufacturers, such as Britvic, are finding it increasingly difficult to attract good quality engineering technicians into its business. As the sector becomes more automated, the profile of technicians required is changing and they now need to possess a mixture of electrical, mechanical and IT skills, said Britvic group operations director Clive Hooper. Other senior people in the sector have echoed Hooper’s concerns. Simon Baldry, MD of Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) said: "Food and drink is the (UK's) largest manufacturing base and we need to be able to attract the right talent and retain that talent in our business."

Skills shortages

"Skills shortages are and will continue to be a problem," said Hooper. "Where manufacturing is going, it is becoming more automated so running and maintaining the equipment requires more skills." Hooper said Britvic now sought technicians with a "balanced skill set", but admitted that the company sometimes struggled to fill these roles. "We have problems getting good quality engineering technicians into the business, particularly around our southern sites....especially as the business is moving towards multi-skilled technicians." said Hooper.

Multi-skilled technicians are available

"The demand profile for technicians has been changing, particularly in recent years," explains the M.D. of specialist recruiter Jenrick Engineering, "and this is where our role has become increasingly important for companies in this sector." "It is not just finding high-calibre candidates that we have a strong reputation for, it has also been the way our consultants are advising companies on salary, benefits, location and a whole range of other issues that are crucial to finding and retaining the best talent." Julie also explained how there are alternatives if the ideal candidate cannot be sourced, "We have several examples over the last couple of months where we've placed contract and interim engineers within companies, while we carry on a search for their ideal permanent employee. So often, contracting is overlooked and yet it ensures companies do not suffer project delays or missing essential delivery deadlines."

Further Information Jenrick Engineering is a recruitment partner for many of the leading Engineering Corporations within the UK, providing an array of contract and permanent job opportunities for engineers who operate within this sector. If you would like to  explore job opportunities in this sector, or wish to seek advice regarding recruiting contractors or permanent staff, please contact our offices at Burton on Trent (on 01283 548 121) or Crick, Northampton (on 01788 824555).

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