Prime Time to Hire

Employment in the UK is on an alarming increase according to accountancy firm BDO. UK companies are looking to take on new staff at a faster rate than any time in the past sixteen years. This is obviously good news for workers in all sectors, but looking strictly at those in the Computer Aided Design industry; why has there been such a rise in demand for CAD technicians and engineers lately?

BDO revealed that its job index, which calculates hiring plans for the next three months, is currently at its highest since 1998 and is expected to continue to increase throughout the rest of the year. Clearly, the beginnings of economic recovery are endowing companies with the confidence to take on new employees.

The UK service sector is showing significant recovery, indicating that our economy is finally digging its way out of the last recession. The International Monetary Fund has forecast that the UK is currently the fastest growing economy of the G7 developed nations, with its GDP growth edging past the 2008’s Q1 high of £392.7bn to £393.5bn at the end of Q2 in 2014, with further growth predicted by the end of the year.

As the service sector accounts for more than 70% of UK economy, its improvement has a knock-on effect throughout other industries. Although areas like construction, industrial production and manufacturing haven’t quite reached the levels they were at before the crash, they are showing excellent signs of revival.

The construction industry, while not growing quite as strongly as the service sector, is still enjoying a sharp increase in output. The 2013 Construction Skills Network Report, released by the Construction Industry Training Board, predicted that construction jobs will continue to fall until 2016. However, the recent boom in the UK housing market has forced them to revise those figures. The CITB now states that the industry will be requiring 36,400 new workers per year in order to keep up with demand.

Obviously, a healthy percentage of those are needed at the architectural design level, which gives some insight into the recent increased hiring of CAAD specialists.

Manufacturing too is on the up. Again, the sector is still on its way to reaching the 2008 peak but, according to the Office for National Statistics, due to upturns in the manufacture of transport equipment, electronic products, and rubber and plastics, output had increased by 3% in April of this year and has been growing by 4.4% year-on-year since 2011.

“Robust momentum in manufacturing shows no sign of easing,” says Neil Prothero, deputy chief economist at the manufacturers’ body EFF, “Production is now at its highest level in five years.”

This also explains the growing demand and highlights the increasing opportunities that are out there for CAD workers, as the economic turnaround creates more growth in demand and productivity.

Despite all this good news, BDO partner Peter Hemington did add one fly to the ointment. He warned that some firms are already citing concerns over a shortage of skilled personnel. The message to company bosses is clear, then. While we are still in an employer’s market, for now, this is the ideal time to hire. Employers should take this opportunity to refill their ranks before competent people become too thin on the ground.

And for those needing especially skilled professionals, like those with CAD expertise, the advice is ‘don’t delay, hire today’, before somebody else does.

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