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Retaining talent

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Talent Retention Solution aims to safeguard manufacturing and engineering skills across our sector. Andrew Buckley, EEF Membership Director, shares his insight on the industry led talent platform.

As the economy picks up and manufacturers’ order books start to fill, recruitment is on the rise. However the challenge remains for many of our members, as they struggle to attract talent and fill vacancies. Still somewhat an industry secret, the Talent Retention Solution - the UK's first national engineering and advanced manufacturing talent platform – has started to tackle our industry’s skills shortage.

More than 5,000 engineers, students and apprentices have signed up to the industry-led Talent Retention Solution (TRS) scheme, launched in 2011 to match engineering and advanced manufacturing talent with job opportunities nationwide. Several hundred companies are registered on the system, including SMEs alongside large companies.

Registered users include Siemens, Shell, Rolls Royce, Airbus, EDF Energy, and BAE Systems, who founded the scheme with the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills. 

TRS is also supported by trade associations, manufacturing & engineering sector professional bodies and educational institutions. TRS is about safeguarding manufacturing and engineering skills across our sector and provides, as part of its wider remit, a recruitment platform for industry which works on a not-for-profit basis. It is free to SMEs with a turnover of less than £50m, while companies of all sizes can advertise early careers vacancies for free.

Larger companies pay a small annual membership, including free advertising, but EEF members are eligible for a 10% discount. 

Business Secretary Vince Cable MP said: What I like most about the TRS is how simple it is. It’s like an ‘eBay’ for engineers that matches vacancies with talent. With successful manufacturers constantly telling me they struggle to recruit engineers, I hope the popularity of the TRS will encourage even more people to sign up – especially small businesses who can use it for free." 

EEF are extremely supportive of the excellent work TRS is doing to retain key skills within the manufacturing and engineering sector. It is an excellent platform to support our members with talent acquisition, development and retention strategies.


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