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Unrivalled engineering jobs expertise

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Engineer looking for your next opportunity? Employer eager to hire the very best engineers? Entech has the experience, resources and approach to help.

After 20 years working with the world’s leading engineering employers, and with seven teams of specialist recruiters who are each expert in their own industry sector,  there’s nobody better placed to help you find your perfect job, or resource your projects and develop your business effectively.

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Was the Beast from the East just an economic storm in a teacup?

15. 03. 2018

There are many things you can control in business, many factors affecting your profitability that your management team can have a direct impact on. Beast from the East But the weather? It’s something we all talk about but can do absolutely nothing about. And we’ve all been very clearly reminded of this recently, with the arrival of the ‘Beast from the East’. Gridlocked motorways, stalled building sites, empty cafes and cancelled trains were just some of the symptoms of the extreme weather that hit the country at the end of February. And while fortunately short-lived, it is estimated that The Beast has cost the UK economy at least £1billion A DAY. Indeed, The Guardian reports that it could halve the GDP growth for the first quarter of 2018. Practically all market sectors have been affected in some way. Possibly hardest hit is construction. Sub-zero temperatures meant no working, and in this industry alone, it’s forecast that £2billion has been lost over the worst three days. In theory, the work can be caught up once better weather arrives, but in practice, projects tend to get pushed back, so the money is lost forever. Transport networks ground to a halt with multiple rail cancellations, motorway closures and flight postponements. Transport is a consumable industry – once an airline seat has been missed, it can’t be resold. And with everybody being told to stay at home and not travel, our high streets and leisure facilities fell silent. Experts do believe that this sector will probably recover their losses. February tends to be a ‘belt tightening’ month anyway, and whilst in the short-term economic activity is affected, hopefully, spend will be recovered later in the year. It wasn’t all bad news And it wasn’t all bad news for retail. Whilst the John Lewis group saw sales drop by 5% over the week compared to last year, their grocery arm, Waitrose, saw an increase of 0.7%. It seems we bought more comforting food and drink, with canned soup sales surging by 50 percent and crumpets by 35 percent! Of course, our energy suppliers saw a spike in demand. One gas analyst calculated that the cost of same-day gas traded on 2nd March was £52.6m, compared to a daily average of £7.7m in 2017. Whilst the headline losses are startling, maybe they aren’t quite what they seem. Certainly, economic activity stalls because of the weather but many economists believe this to be a transient effect. Looking at the greater picture, such losses are often little more than a glitch. Things do catch up, and when viewed over a longer time period, the event can barely be noticed. Take this view to an extreme, and if we look at a century’s worth of GDP figures, we see even the Great Depression as being just a blip. By around 1960, the standard of living appeared to be exactly where it would have been if the 1930s had never happened. Of course, when you are in the middle of a situation, stranded miles from home, or sitting at home with no water or heating, it doesn’t feel like a blip. But it’s reassuring to think that the concerns are perhaps short-term ones. Indeed, there is a view that over the long term, the only things that really matter are technological advances and productivity.


Has the Bitcoin bubble burst or is there more to come?

21. 02. 2018

Had we been writing this blog twelve months ago – or even three months ago – it might have taken a different direction. Throughout 2017, the cryptocurrency Bitcoin surged in value, rising over 1300% during the course of the year. The chances are that even those of us who have no idea what a cryptocurrency is will have read about the meteoric rise in Bitcoin’s value and wondered if that growth could continue. However, as the new year began, the value of Bitcoin plunged, in January dropping 50% from its peak value, hit just a few weeks earlier. Looking to the future, expert opinion is divided. Goldman Sachs analysts predict that ‘most cryptocurrencies are heading to zero.’ They liken the phenomenon to the internet bubble and subsequent dot-com crash early this century. However, they do concede that the blockchain - the digital ledger system that records cryptocurrency transactions - could have a “transformative impact” on the global economy. It encourages transparency, and for companies with long supply chains, it could help them track the movement of goods and services more efficiently. Not everyone takes such a pessimistic view. One cryptocurrency portfolio manager, speaking at the Davos World Economic Forum, believes that the high volatility is completely normal. He relates it to companies such as Apple and Microsoft, both of whom had rocky rides with their values in their early days, but ultimately became much more stable. Indeed, he predicts that Bitcoin will reach a high of $50,000 this year – around a fivefold increase from the value as we write. His view is supported elsewhere. The organisation assembled a council of crypto-experts, including financial technology entrepreneurs, Bitcoin investors and financial analysts. This group suggests that Bitcoin will outperform other cryptocurrencies during 2018 and could increase in value to $14,928 by March and hit $43,472 by the year’s end. What is interesting about Bitcoin is that it performs none of the of the commonly accepted functions of a currency. Traditional monetary theory states that a currency has three characteristics – a medium of exchange, a denominator of value and a store of wealth. But Bitcoin is not widely accepted; its own value is so volatile that it cannot be held up as a standard, and it is not a store of wealth because it has become so valuable itself. Indeed, it was never intended to replace traditional currencies. So, it begs the question ‘why has it been so successful?’. The Independent’s financial editor believes it’s because few people fully understand it, and it falls ‘below the radar’. Neither taxable nor traceable, it appeals to those who like to live on the edge (and, frankly, to those who operate beyond the law). No-one can accurately predict where this currency will end up, but we believe, it’s here to stay in one form or another. The future is undoubtedly unpredictable – with soaring heights and crashing depths – but Bitcoin is a great example of the innovation of cryptocurrency. It will develop and mature, we are sure. It will be interesting to revisit the subject in 10 years’ time and see where Bitcoin has ended up.


Should we be worrying about the UK energy gap?

22. 01. 2018

In the UK we are not currently capable of producing all the energy that we use. Our need to import energy has fluctuated dramatically over the last 50 years. Those of us old enough to remember the 1970s may recall reading by candlelight as power shortages left us all in the dark, or sitting in long queues at petrol stations. At that time, our import requirement was over 50%. Fast forward to the 1980 – 2000 period, and we generally met our own needs and had some to spare for export. The energy gap has started growing again since that period. According to figures from The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, we are currently a net importer of energy, needing around 40% of our supplies to be imported. So, should we be concerned? Many engineers think we should. The phasing-out of coal and nuclear reactors without viable alternative solutions is predicted to create a supply crunch ten years down the line. In October last year, the UK government pledged to ‘champion a global alliance’ on a transition to coal-free power generation by 2025. What this means is the closure of the country’s remaining eight coal-fired power stations, and one of them shutting this year. Additional plans to phase out ageing nuclear reactors without, in some experts’ view, sufficient plans in place to build adequate replacements, will combine to create a supply crisis, according to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). Here’s an interesting statistic Around 1 in every 49 UK jobs is related to one of the energy sectors, so it’s a crucial industry for employment. And yet the IMechE maintains that the country has neither the time, resources, nor enough skilled people to build sufficient power plants. The concern is that electricity imports will put the UK’s supply at the mercy of the markets, weather and politics of other countries, resulting in a less secure supply with less controllable costs. When we talk about energy, it’s not just electricity of course. In the report, electricity is shown as just 20% of UK energy use, with heat generation being around 40% and transport fuels a similar percentage. The suggestion is that although the government is focusing on electricity – and indeed, it’s very hard to find official statistics on energy other than electricity – it is a small part of the overall energy challenge. The Green agenda All of the above has to be set against a 'green' agenda, although the counry's bold target of slashing carbon emissions by more than 50% by 2030 now seems unachievable. Subsidies for onshore wind and solar power have been slashed, throwing doubt on the future growth of these energy sources. The feeling within in the industry is that the government has hit the pause button on their renewable energy policy. The IMechE report concludes that some important factors are being overlooked concerning the sustainability of the UK’s energy system and its contribution to global warming. The Institution believes: That we must reduce the pollution generated from electricity generation We must put more focus on the pollution from energy we use in heat and transport, which is 4x the electricity we use There needs to be a continued focus on supply, demand and emissions across the whole spectrum of energy use to secure wider benefits in UK health and welfare


Investments, jobs and recruitment – the Brexit factor

15. 12. 2017

A little while ago we looked at the potential impact of Brexit on the engineering sector. With the recent breakthrough in talks, a Brexit deal looks a little closer. But what will our ultimate withdrawal from Europe mean for investments in new projects, for job creation – and indeed for the recruitment industry as a whole. A survey last month by Ipsos MORI, commissioned by Invest Europe, looked at how Europe has changed as an investment destination, including an examination of the Brexit impact. With a respondent base of investors from France, Germany, UK, USA and China, the survey revealed that countries are split in their propensity to invest in the UK. With a growing anxiety amongst key European countries that Brexit will impact their commerce, most German and French respondents stated were less likely to invest following Brexit, whilst our departure seemed not to faze the Americans, whose attitude was unchanged. Chinese investors, on the other hand, seem more likely to be interested in spending their money in the UK. Possibly reflecting the potential for new trade relations between the UK and other international markets, 58% of the Chinese companies interviewed said they were more likely to invest in the UK over the next five years. In the UK, Brexit secretary David Davis has confirmed that the government has not conducted sector-by-sector studies on the impact of leaving the EU. But a quick Google search shows concern expressed across many industrial sectors, and a general feeling of relief on news of the deal. The Telegraph reports that the construction sector is warning of a ‘cliff edge’ over EU workers. With a massive drive to build 300,000 new homes a year, it’s a sector with high recruitment needs. Around 6% of construction workers are EU migrants – but that rises to 50% in London and the South East. And it is forecast that over the next decade the construction workforce will decrease by up to 25% - fuelled by a combination of a skills shortage thanks to an ageing population, and a decrease in new entrants who are put off by the volatile nature of the industry. The sector is addressing this by recruiting and training more UK workers, but states there “will likely remain an ongoing need for significant levels of skilled EU workers." The recent news must come as something of a relief for the automotive industry. The Independent reported recently that Ford has warned the Government that failure to secure a final Brexit deal would be a disaster for the UK’s motor sector. Ford has spent 40 years putting together a supply chain taking advantage of the open European market, and a ‘no-deal’ Brexit could cost them $1billion in tariffs. These concerns are echoed by the wider automotive industry with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders saying, “we need to see concrete progress – and quickly.” There’s now a hope that the break-through deal paves the way for positive trade negotiations that negates the need for hard borders. The Independent Transport Commission think-tank has urged the Government to focus on the aviation industry during its Brexit negotiations. Leaving the EU is likely to have a significant impact on the regulations governing aviation – and there are no historic rules to fall back on should we find ourselves in a ‘no-deal’ situation. There is also a huge knock-on effect to manufacturing, with aircraft parts being made and assembled in many different countries. Minimising regulatory barriers post-Brexit will help to ensure the competitiveness of the UK sector. And what about the recruitment sector? With the breakthrough deal including the protection of the rights of EU citizens in the UK, it’s a step that has been welcomed by recruiters. Uncertainty is what causes delays in decision making, and raises concerns about job security. This positive move reduces some of that uncertainty around Brexit, Many in the industry have expressed hope that that news of the deal will slow the flow of EU workers choosing to leave the UK. Since Brexit, there has been concern about access to the pool of EU workers that so many industries rely on heavily. It’s generally seen as good news for UK employers and those looking for work.


New branding, new website, new blog – same support

02. 11. 2017

If you are a regular visitor to our website - in which case, welcome back and thank you – you will have noticed that we’ve had a bit of a facelift. To coincide with our twenty-year anniversary, and our expansion into the Midlands, we’ve recently gone through a process of rebranding. Whilst our original brand has stood us in good stead, our new look and feel encompasses a contemporary look. It includes an updated logo with clean, modern colours that we feel reflects the technological and professional nature of our business, and a highly functional website that better demonstrates all the services that we can provide to both our UK & international clients and candidates. The most common actions that you take on our website are now much clearer and easier to navigate. For example, job searches, uploading CVs and posting vacancies can be accessed from multiple pages through large, hard to miss buttons. There are clearly defined areas for clients and candidates directing visitors to the most relevant information for them. And as a user, you can now create a unique login, to ensure your personal profile is up to date. There’s more comprehensive information about the different sectors we operate in and the additional services that we can provide. This data can be easily accessed directly from the home page, again making it easier for visitors to find pertinent information quickly. Our aim is that both our clients and candidates will find the website a vital resource that they can return to again and again, and access easily from a desktop, mobile device, tablet, or via social media platforms, 24 hours a day, from anywhere across the globe. We hope it makes the process of searching for the perfect employee or seeking your dream position just that little bit easier. We will be putting more focus on the blog area of our new site with regular articles covering everything from industry news to interesting technological developments, so do check back regularly or subscribe to keep updated. We’d love to know what you think about our rebrand and new website so please get in touch with any comments or suggestions.


Looking back at two decades of supporting the engineering industry

27. 10. 2017

When Entech Technical Solutions opened the doors over twenty years ago, we had a mission to provide specialist international support to the engineering and technical industries. Whilst that objective remains, many things have changed in those two decades. The way in which we used to source candidates for the recruitment side of our business seems very quaint to the modern eye. Classified adverts placed in the local or national press or in industry magazines, were the main way to attract a potential employee’s attention. Then we would sit and wait for the CVs to arrive – by post or by fax or even by an old-fashioned call on the office landline. There were no job boards, no websites. And it seems hardly credible that we managed without social media! The 2015 Work Trends Study from Adecco found that the higher the use of social media by a candidate, the higher the probability of being contacted by a recruiter. The study concludes that frequent social media updates makes it easier for recruiters to understand an applicant and decide if they're worth interviewing for a position. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn also make it easier for job seekers to research companies and jobs and directly connect with employers. People can make more informed judgements about company cultures, missions, and management styles. Alongside the development of easily accessible technology, a new language has developed, and of course, today, everyone knows what you mean if you suggest a quick Skype call or to connect on LinkedIn or to email across their CV. With easy access to a myriad of quick, instant communication techniques, we can now connect directly with our market almost in real time. Other changes include updates to legislation, which covers everything from the way job descriptions and person specifications are written, how advertisements are worded, through to conducting and documenting interviews, the retention of records, and the feedback given to unsuccessful candidates. Technology has even changed how we work with our subcontractors. Whereas once we would post out cheques to pay them, we now make instant payments via BACS. Software helps us manage work allocation and job closures, and get real-time updates on progress – straight to our smartphone. During the last two decades, there have been times of recession, times when companies put recruitment on hold. Fewer positions and more people looking for work is the painful reality of hard economic times. However, it can be a catalyst to review future needs and prepare a pool of talented employees for future. Knowing that any vacancy will attract a high level of interest can give employers a bit of breathing time, thus avoiding the pitfalls of hiring in a hurry. At Entech, our knowledge, professionalism, and importantly, our clients’ loyalty has helped us to survive periods of recession, and we remain ready to embrace what the next twenty years may bring. While in many ways the speed of change makes it hard to forecast what will happen, we will endeavour to anticipate change and evolve with the industry. Our plans include an increased headcount and the expansion of our operation with the opening of offices in major cities. One thing we can guarantee is that we will not lose the desire to grow, whilst maintaining our identity. We will continue the ongoing development of our specialist industry knowledge, and will grow and develop in-house expertise. An important lesson of our twenty years in business is that experience matters, and we’ve used our expertise to build our database of exclusive candidates over that time. Modern trends for ‘pop up’ agencies run on a shoestring may catch the eye, but will never deliver the quality of service and personal support of our partners who know the industry inside out. We believe that by nurturing talent and building careers and supporting operational staffing and long-term development, we can play our part in strengthening the engineering sector. Whatever the 2020s and beyond bring, we believe our professionalism, partnership, trustworthiness and experience will stand us in good stead.


Could Brexit leave the UK crying out for engineering skills?

25. 10. 2017

When the IET - one of the world’s largest engineering institutions – ran a skills survey of more than 400 employers last year, it highlighted fears that the engineering industry could be hard hit because of Brexit. The respondents’ apprehension was not focused on a lack of interest in the industry – but rather that those wishing to become engineers will lack the necessary knowledge and skills. In fact, 68% of respondents were concerned that the UK education system would not be able to address the needs of the engineering sector as it evolves. So, should we worry? Well, as yet, there has been no definitive guarantee from the government that the rights of highly skilled migrant workers will be protected once we leave the EU. And there are some interesting moves from other EU countries to take advantage of this. One example is Spain’s Basque Country, a region that is capitalising on the uncertainty created by Brexit to lure back talent it has previously lost to the UK. Whilst it’s a wealthy area and an industrial stronghold, in recent years it has failed to retain its talent. On the back of high youth unemployment, thousands of highly skilled graduates and PhDs were tempted to look for job opportunities abroad, and indeed, many Basques work in Britain in science, technology and engineering positions. Interestingly, almost half of Basque graduates have science, technology and engineering qualifications – skills that are in high demand in the UK because not enough British students study those subjects. It’s easy to see how the UK became a favoured destination for these young people as Spain endured a prolonged recession. But now that flow is beginning to reverse. Spain’s economy is in recovery and what can be clearly seen is that Brexit is accelerating the process of people returning to their native country. Let’s be frank, engineering is vital to the UK. It underpins half the country’s exports and makes a gross contribution of at least £280bn. A rich seam of talent is fundamental to the UK’s position as a global leader in engineering. And so, to address the potential Brexit issues, it is absolutely vital that we maximise our own home-grown talent. Let’s have a look at some statistics. There are fewer female professional engineers in the UK than almost anywhere else in the world – just 9% of engineering and technology employees are women. And it’s a fact that from the age of 16, mathematics or science are subjects that are dropped by many students. In any one year, from a population of around 550,000 students, less than 6% study maths and physics at A-level. Engaging students in science, technology and engineering has to start in primary schools. We need inspirational teachers who spark curiosity in these subjects, but not all schools have the resources to offer stimulating STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) teaching. Teacher shortages in the STEM subjects must be tackled urgently if we are to grow our future skills base. You only need to watch an 8-year-old with a box of Lego to understand that our children have inherent engineering skills and interest. Another statistic, 63% of engineering businesses do not have gender diversity initiatives, and 73% do not have any kind of LGBT or ethnic diversity initiatives in place. So, to address the potential shortfall in talent that Brexit may create, we need to find ways of inspiring our children to become the innovators and engineers of the future. We must examine how to provide work experience for those in education or training. Reskilling the UK’s workforce is an ongoing request from the engineering profession - especially the development of digital skills that will fuel future innovation - and we need to be more inclusive as an industry, calling on potential employees across the whole spectrum of society.


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