Following reports on the growth of the manufacturing industry in the UK, the REC’s industrial group has called for the sector’s recovery to be reinforced by helping companies retain valuable talent.

REC Industrial, which represents recruiters in the manufacturing industry, has confirmed signs that businesses in the sector are returning to the UK. The group has welcomed figures published by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) showing a 5.6 per cent increase in the manufacturing output at the end of 2010.

Commenting on the issue, Sally Hewick, Chair of REC Industrial said:

“As we are moving out of recession and the economy is slowly starting to pick up we see recovery in manufacturing gathering pace.

“However, initial growth in sectors like manufacturing is heavily dependent on the bigger picture. Public sector cuts in the UK along with unstable economies in Europe can put pressure on businesses in the sector.

“To counter these threats and turn a momentum into long term sustainable growth, companies need help to develop and retain the necessary talent. Our recommendation to employers using agency workers is that focusing on pay rates and workforce flexibility will help maximise productivity.”

Sally Hewick added:

“For example, wages offered should reflect market trends and match the skills required for the vacancy. Currently, we see minimal flexibility in the manufacturing environment, although shifts tend to be dictated by the end customer. Front line recruiters report very few part time or job sharing roles. However, there is a huge amount of talent going to waste, simply because agency workers cannot do an eight to 12 hour shift for five to six days a week.

“Our members are here to work in consultation with businesses in the sector to help them find, train and retain, once all the necessary skills have been acquired, the talent that will lead to the UK manufacturing industry of tomorrow.”