Many businesses up and down the country have been using down time during lockdown to re-assess their employment needs and plan for the future. This means change is inevitable. One area that is being given a new consideration is the importance and relevance of skills accreditation.
Nothing new you may say. After all, professional qualifications and industry accreditation have long been used as a benchmark for providing customers with a reassurance that the job will be carried out to a specific standard by a professionally qualified member of staff.
However, according to the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), they say that although the demand for engineers is rising, many companies are struggling to recruit candidates with the right skills and professional qualifications.
According to their ‘skills and demands in industry’ report, they found that this lack of accreditation was an ongoing problem, which could lead to a shortage of engineers as we come out of the current covid-19 pandemic.
In addition, 53% of engineering companies surveyed by the IET considered that this could be a potential threat to their business over the next three to five years.
As a long-established recruitment partner, we have always placed great importance on professional qualifications and accreditations as part of the recruitment process. For example, candidates applying for employment as a gas engineer must hold an approved evidence of competence, obtained through a recognised training route and assessment.
In fact, a gas engineer can only be issued with a licence to undertake gas work on behalf of registered business if they hold a valid and current qualification. For employers, the Gas Safe Register (formerly Corgi) is operated on behalf of the Health & Safety Authority and registration is only approved if the business has at least one gas safety qualified engineer.
This is a legal obligation and something we take very seriously when submitting candidates in order to ensure that only qualified engineers are licenced to legally work on gas installations.
With over 10 years’ experience in recruiting specialist staff, we have an in- depth knowledge of supplying accredited tradespeople, such as CIS and Gas Safe registered, to our clients.
Accredited candidates, identified at the start of the selection process, can be supplied on a short-term basis (some with own vehicles and insurances) or on a longer term more permanent basis. Accreditation, along with professional qualifications and memberships can, therefore, speed up the whole recruitment process – saving the prospective employer time and costs.
This ‘oven ready’ solution to hiring effectively removes the need for any third-party involvement and can lead to work being self-certified and approved. This is just one of the reasons we are committed to our candidates not only holding a professional qualification but also achieving industry recognised accreditation.
The Covid-19 pandemic is having a massive impact on the UK economy and the jobs market in particular. There is also the thought that any changes, in these unprecedented times, will be quick and long lasting.
As the economy starts to recover and furloughed staff begin a return to previous working practices, there is a possibility that employers and HR professionals will be re-designing job descriptions to take into account the future needs of the employment market.
Professional qualifications and accreditations will, therefore, play an increasing important role in the recruitment of suitable staff. As we know, the need for a professional qualification is already mandatory in some roles, such as engineering, gas fitting etc.
As the UK returns to some of normality, we are aware that employers are looking for stability and an opportunity to attract highly skilled and professionally qualified staff. This is especially relevant in the engineering sector with its current shortage of skilled engineers.
This is confirmed by the UK’s Engineering and Technology Board, who say that as we head towards a manufacturing revolution in order to retain our global competitiveness, we will require more engineers. In fact, they claim the UK has a shortfall of 55,000 skilled engineers each year.
They also added, that for every engineering position filled, a further two jobs are created in the economy. These kinds of statistics are always in our mind as employers look to us to identify and recruit suitably qualified staff on a short term or long-term basis.
There is no doubt, Covid-19 has forced everyone to explore new ways of working. We responded to this challenge very early on in the crisis and have continued to support our clients in helping to reduce stress levels when recruiting new staff.
In fact, we are regularly told by our clients, that it is our attention to this and our commitment in ensuring the quality of candidates, those who have the necessary accreditations and professional qualifications to work in the sectors we represent, that sets us apart from other recruiters.