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Engineering faces up to £9.5bn retention gap

A study of company data has revealed the engineering sector could halve the productivity lost when losing and replacing staff.

The analysis by the Association for Consultancy & Engineering (ACE), and EngTechNow found that productivity lost through handover activities and new staff getting up to speed amounts to £5,128 for engineers, and £4,908 for senior technicians.

The gap is lower when replacing engineers at a more junior level.  For junior and graduate engineers it is £2,912 and for technicians and trainees it amounts to £2,820, providing a route to cutting the productivity loss by promoting from within.

Combined, this loss in productivity across all levels of the engineering sector could amount to a loss of £9.5bn over the next decade

ACE CEO Dr Nelson Ogunshakin OBE said: “There are an estimated 1.8million engineering roles to fill over a ten year period and our figures demonstrate why industry must benchmark itself and adopt best practice.  Engineering talent is responsible for delivering so much of our economy, and for achieving so much of government ambitions for the future, that we need to find every opportunity to improve the way we work.

“Government’s recent publication on UK’s productivity rate confirms an urgent need to match, or improve on, our European and USA colleagues in order to maintain UK international competitiveness. 

“Industry’s positive response to mitigate or minimise the cost of retention gap will go a long way towards improving productivity.”

EngTechNow chief executive Blane Judd said the report highlights some of the best practice underway at industry-leading employers. 

“Applying those lessons across engineering has the potential to save taxpayers and clients billions of pounds,” Mr Judd added.

BAM Nuttall has signed a charter with EngTechNow, publicly committing to professionally register technicians within the business and to ensure apprentices are set on a path to professional status.

BAM Nuttall professional development manager Paul Skerry explained: “We have established an embedded HND Civil Engineering programme at Stephenson College and through this programme are setting out to deliver 100 newly qualified apprentices over the next 4 years.

“They will be supported to achieve Technician Membership of the Institution of Civil Engineers or Technical Membership of the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors as part of the apprenticeship programme and will later be given the opportunity to achieve the higher grades of professional qualification through our graduate programme which includes embedded further learning where required.”

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