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Industry Spotlight - Construction, IT, Engineering and Aerospace

12 March 2021 by Jack Spurway

​We’re passionate advocates for our tech, engineering and specialist manufacturing sectors in the UK. These highly skilled arenas for work and talent have borne the brunt of COVID-19 and been crucial in creating and redirecting services and supply chains to support the pandemic response.

​They’ve done all this while navigating the new normal of disrupted labour, stalled production, building delays and, of course, social distancing on sites, in office and in production spaces.

​Our unique eyes view on the market - having worked in construction, engineering and IT & Tech recruitment for 21 years, and more recently across space and energy recruitment

Engineering

​The Engineering diaspora have been the unspoken heroes of the pandemic. From pivoting manufacturing units to PPE production, to efforts to unite engineering entrepreneurs under an umbrella of support and guidance to provide help and support to 2nd and 3rd world countries, engineers have done what engineers do best - innovate.

​Looking forward to 2021 and beyond, sustainability on the back of the pandemic will come under renewed focus. There is increased noise for engineering to work hand in hand with construction and find alternative ways of reducing waste, adapting processes, and using resources effectively, and rightly so. Engineering will be the driver of change, reducing pollution and emissions and moving the country to a low carbon future.

​The future of engineering lies in our ability to train the next generation and reskill the current - when the future of engineering lies in bio-engineering, 4D printing and the rise and rise of AI, our talent pool has to be reactive, inventive and well supported by both public and private bodies. The introduction of T Levels and a renewed campaign to better support apprenticeships will offer revamped models of engagement with new entrants to the workforce.

IT and Tech

​The IT, Tech and Telecoms sector has seen incredible growth in 2020. Mobile comms, remote working, increased network usage and the absolutely vital role social media and traditional media took in public health and community communications has created new expectations and a raft of new opportunities.

​A big part of IT and Tech strategy has been contingency - what to do in the face of crisis and rapid changes to work and social places. Cyber security and cloud based systems are rightfully the heart and soul of increased hiring movements as thousands of companies from SME’s to multinationals look at creating much more efficient remote and hybrid work forces.

​But necessity is driving innovation and talent in other directions - AI is the poster boy of the Tech field, and from data analysis within healthcare systems, to helping the Perseverance Rover adjust to real-time environmental factors landing on the surface of Mars, AI is revolutionising how we live, thrive and explore.

​Other Tech outliers like augmented reality and vehicle automation are becoming mainstay growth sectors, and every day improvements to tech within culture and lifestyle - from payment services rendered online to dialysis machines in your pocket - have seen Tech ingratiate itself with almost every industry in the country.

Construction

​The duel hit of the pandemic and Brexit pushed construction into a difficult spot in 2020, but due to the tireless efforts of trade bodies, site managers and companies, safe site working has resumed and the industry clamours for talent.

​The reduction in skilled and unskilled labour from the European continent has forced companies to up prices and this may continue, specifically due to labourers and dry-lining staff being in short supply.

​A huge part of the future viability of large scale projects comes down to site healthcare (outbreaks of COVID), supply chain issues and price. Construction is not getting cheaper, and neither is the staffing. Job vacancies are now back to pre-pandemic levels, so the sector is most definitely not seeing signs of a slow down.

​Innovation, much like across the IT, Tech and Engineering sectors, is helping meet those challenges. Modular Construction is seeing a boom in interest due to its low-volume body count onsite, financial management (especially around payment and pay less notices, and insolvency) have been improved and given extra due care and attention, and the Absolute Zero report written last year has put the spotlight on environmental regulation, sustainability, the circular supply chain economy and concrete and steel production.

The above is a highlight of where we see market movement, and we consistently advise our clients and job seekers about changing trends, long term shifts and cultural adjustments in these growing and essential industries.

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