Experts warn manufacturing industry could face skills shortage

A survey of the industry has predicted that there will be 140,000 manufacturing job losses this year. According to recruitment experts at Warrington based Antal International, these losses could lead to a serious skills gap when the recession ends.

Phil Carden, operations director at the global recruitment firm said: In the short term the manufacturing industry doesnt need as many skilled staff but in the long-term, if we dont keep hold of these workers, we will have a major labour issue.

When we come out of the economic downturn we will need skilled workers more than ever, but if UK companies dont retain them they will either move to jobs overseas or re-train. Such a skills shortage in the future will mean that the industry will not recover as quickly and firms will have to spend a lot of time and money looking to recruit from outside the UK.

The survey by the manufacturing industry body, the EEF, surveyed 778 firms and found that 37% of firms were likely to have a smaller workforce and 45% of firms intended to cut back on investment.

A separate survey of 11,000 firms by BDO Stoy Hayward predicted that 320,000 more jobs would go across the UK in the next three months alone, as firms cut back.

Phil said: "Few firms expect things to get better in the near future but they should focus on keeping skilled workers on board so when the recovery does happen they will be in a good position to take advantage of the market.


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