From 2011 to 2020, the number of employed professional engineers increased by 21.14%, from 421,000 to 510,000 according to a report from Statista.
These impressive numbers are an example of just how much the engineering sector has grown in the last 10 years and suggests that there’s a greater demand for engineers across multiple industries and sectors, including manufacturing.
However, when it comes to finding the right engineers, there’s one place that many employers tend to overlook: the armed forces.
“Military veterans are often highly-trained and highly-skilled individuals with a mindset and attitude often sought after by employers – and many have worked as engineers,” explains Paul Lewis, Managing Director of specialist recruitment company V.E.T.S. (Veterans Employment and Training Solutions).
An ex-serviceman himself, Paul is an expert when it comes to sourcing new talent among veterans on behalf of his clients – many of which are manufacturing firms seeking new engineers.
The Best of the Best
“The equipment that our military services are using right now is undoubtedly the best in the world. But to have the best equipment in the world, you’ve got to have the best engineers in the world,” says Paul.
“The Ministry of Defence and the government has invested so much into training our armed forces, that the training we receive is the best in the world”
Paul Lewis, V.E.T.S.
Despite their vigorous training and world-class expertise, finding the right engineer for a particular job can be a challenge.
“Engineering is such a wide and varied sector, it’s unbelievable,” Paul continues.
“I recently worked with a national food company, with sites all over the UK. They needed mechanical engineers to work on the equipment that packaged their food.
“Finding the right person wasn’t easy as you have different types of engineers in the military, with different transferable skills. In this instance, we had to look at the RAF because they worked on radar systems and things like that whereas in the army, it’s different.”
Finding the Right Person for the Job
“Whether an employer is seeking new talent specifically from the forces or not, actually finding the right person can be both costly and time-consuming – especially at a time when more people are looking for work,” Paul adds.
“The time it takes to go through people’s CV’s alone – not to mention the interview process – can take hours of valuable time.”
“For this reason, working with a specialist recruitment company can be advantageous. Not only do we know where to find the right people, we know how to optimise the process of hiring them whilst minimising the time and effort required by the employer.