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How Kirkstall Precision is tackling the engineering skills shortage

Plant & Works Engineering recently published an article which highlighted that more than half of engineering design firms – mostly based in the UK, polled in August 2021, claim they are finding it difficult to recruit and/or retain staff with the right skills and believe there is a problem across the industry in doing so.

Over half of those who responded to the survey were also currently experiencing skills shortages, with a further 13% anticipating this in the future. At Kirkstall Precision Engineering we echo that it is hard to find the right skills, but that’s likely no different in any sector that requires in-depth knowledge and training to achieve high stands.

Our proactive approach to unearthing the next generation of precision engineering talent

Throughout our business we have always had a share and learn policy amongst our teams, which has meant we have a culture of support that runs deep. In fact you could say it is part of the Kirkstall DNA. But we recognised a long time ago that we needed to go above and beyond to ensure we never were affected negatively by a skills shortage.

Home growing our own with the KPE apprentice academy. Investing in young people is the responsibility in any business, and our apprentice academy helps us do just that. It ensures we have a steady stream of precision engineering ready professionals who can ensure our standards are instilled at an early stage and that the importance of delivering to client specifications is paramount. It also ensures that we have a loyal workforce, who see Kirkstall as a company invested in their future and collective success.

Finding the brightest young talent with graduate recruitment. This year we took the step of recruiting our very first graduate trainee. Taking on some of the brightest young minds in the country ensures that we remain on the cutting edge when it comes to precision engineering innovation and new ways of doing things. This also raises the bar for our current team and improves standards for everyone who works alongside our  brightest and the best talents.

Speaking about the UK skills shortage and ho Kirkstall are overcoming this, our MD Adam Thornton commented that: “Skills, unlike machinery, cannot be replaced overnight and so constantly looking for ways to keep our skill base topped-up is a vital aspect of the work we do every day here at Kirkstall Precision Engineering. It ensures we remain relevant and ready for any challenge our clients throw at us.”