Electrical sector searches for new talent

Eastern Contracting is increasing its workforce by a tenth despite a tight
trading climate.

The electrical engineering company aims to add around 100 new electricians
and electrical engineers to its 1,000 strong workforce because it is expecting
an increase in telecoms and utilities contracts.

Mark Jones, HR director at Eastern Contracting, has started recruiting
through newspapers and is building up a database of people who want to work for
the company.

He said, "The electrical contracting labour market has been buoyant
over the past two years but has certainly tightened up over the past six months.

"There is currently a real skills shortage of electricians. They are
very hard to find as not many are out of work at the moment."

He believes that the company’s people-focused strategy will help it recruit.
"Our HR strategy is very much to train and develop our staff and nurture
their careers. This is very different to some of our competitors which work to
a ‘hire and fire’ approach."

The company has an annual turnover of £53m and was formed in 1998 from a
management buyout of Eastern Electricity Contracting.

The Engineering Employers Federation is predicting that up to 60,000 jobs
could be lost in the engineering sector next year.

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