SME manufacturers struggle to compete on pay

Posted on 3 Sep 2012

The managing director of Birmingham-based Bracebridge Engineering, which makes precision presswork equipment, has said that it finds it difficult to compete with the appeal and pay of the services sector.

The company is looking to defy the ageing demographic within UK manufacturing by building a young workforce through links with colleges.

To make this vision a reality, Bracebridge Engineering has to attract and train the people that will someday have the skills to manufacture complex components.

Keith Street, managing director, noted the importance of creating the right learning environment to introduce a student to its working methods.

The firm is seeking to recruit a number of full time quality engineers with release to college, enabling completion of studies. However, manufacturing has been hindered by a lingering reputation for being dirty and unappealing, something that was put into life for the whole world to see during Danny Boyle’s opening Olympic Ceremony.

Keith Street said: “It is difficult to compete with the appeal and pay of the service sector. It is important that we give the message out to those that are up and coming that this is not a bad environment to work in. The images of workers emerging from factories covered in dirt no longer hold true. They are far cleaner, tidier and technologically advanced environments now.”

Bracebridge Engineering has invested in new IT equipment and is hoping to achieve accreditation for the quality of its design, development, production, installation and servicing of automotive-related products.