Engineers struggling to fill £35,000 posts

Frustrated: Sheaf Power boss Bob Linley.
Frustrated: Sheaf Power boss Bob Linley.
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AN ENGINEERING boss who has battled for six months to fill three well-paid jobs has criticised the Government for failing to support industry.

Bob Linley, chairman of Sheaf Power, said applicants had included a 73-year-old and graduates from India but they were ‘not even close’ to having the right qualifications and experience.

The vacancies are holding back the burgeoning 15-strong firm which makes back-up generators for hospitals, the National Grid and Vodaphone, he added.

And he slammed Governments, including Cameron and Clegg, for creating a recruitment crisis by failing to back manufacturing.

Sheaf Power needs an engineering manager with CAD experience, a project manager with an electrical engineering background – both on £35,000 – and a shopfloor electrician with experience of power generation systems, on £25,000.

He said: “It galls me to hear Cameron and Clegg say manufacturing is going to pull us out of recession when the people to do it just aren’t there.

“Recruiting is becoming a major problem for us – yet nationally the jobless figures are increasing.

“Engineering has not been pushed over the last 25 years and we’re reaping the whirlwind.”

Mr Linley said engineering was out of favour in schools where pupils believed it was “something someone did in a far away place”.

And it was not protected or supported by the Government, in contrast to Germany.

He added: “We have lost so many skills over the years.

“If the country is serious about getting back to manufacturing it needs help, in training, in funding and in schools.”