SCOTTISH ENGINEERING has detailed the latest feedback from their Quarterly Review survey. In their first review of 2023, the sector’s overall upbeat mood continues in line with an eighth consecutive quarter of order and output growth, a run only bettered once since the turn of this millennium. A further increase in optimism matches this feedback with investment and training intentions also heading in the right direction.
The report said: “A familiar challenge remains as staffing intentions remind us that people are the limiting gate on growth for too many companies. In the last two years, a minimum of 30% of companies have tried to increase staffing with discussions confirming that these numbers contain intent to hire the roles they were trying to fill last quarter or replace those who left this quarter. We believe that this unfulfilled demand for skills is directly related to this quarter’s measure of capacity utilisation, with 31% of companies responding that they are at full capacity, compared to an average in the last 8 years of less than 6%.”
Scottish Engineering Chief Executive, Paul Sheerin, added:
“Current strength in orders and output is combining with future opportunities to deliver justified optimism for our sector. People and skills remain our biggest challenge, and conversations with industry on their need to attract a bigger – and more balanced – slice of our working population has driven our work to understand where we can lead on equality, diversity and inclusion to attract, retain and develop people. The results of our survey shows areas of action that are encouraging, and others where we clearly have a way to go, and we can return to these metrics to map our progress and more importantly call for action to improve it.”