Solving the Engineering Crisis in Food Manufacturing

In recent years, the UK food manufacturing industry has been experiencing a shortage of skilled engineers, especially those who are multi-skilled in both mechanical and electrical engineering. This has become a significant challenge for many food manufacturers who require such engineers to keep their production processes running efficiently. Unfortunately, the shortage of multi-skilled engineers has become borderline impossible to address due to various reasons.

One of the reasons why it is difficult to have a full team of multi-skilled engineers in UK food manufacturing is the ageing workforce. A significant portion of the UK food manufacturing industry’s workforce is over 50 and nearing retirement age. This means that there are fewer young people entering the industry, and there is a shortage of apprenticeship opportunities to train new engineers. This results in a limited pool of skilled engineers to recruit from, making it more challenging for businesses to find suitable candidates.

Another significant challenge is the competition for talent. Many food manufacturers in the UK are competing for the same pool of skilled engineers, which means that businesses are often outbid for talent. This competition can result in companies offering more generous salary packages and benefits, making it difficult for you to attract and retain talent.

Furthermore, the average tenure of an engineer in the food manufacturing industry is only around two years. This means that businesses must constantly recruit and train new engineers, which can be time-consuming and expensive. Additionally, there is no such thing as a permanent engineer in food manufacturing anymore, as most companies now prefer to hire engineers on a contract basis. This allows businesses to scale up or down their engineering teams as and when needed, depending on production demands and other factors.

In conclusion, the shortage of multi-skilled engineers in UK food manufacturing is a complex problem that cannot be easily solved. The ageing workforce, lack of apprenticeship opportunities, and competition for talent are all contributing factors to this shortage. However, businesses can still address this issue by embracing the use of contract engineers, which allows them to scale up or down their engineering teams as and when needed. By doing so, companies can ensure that they have access to the necessary engineering skills to keep their production processes running efficiently without having to rely on a permanent engineering team.