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Recruitment trends in 2024

06 March 2024

Engineers and technical professionals with expertise in automation, robotics, data analysis, and sustainability will find many career opportunities across a wide range of sectors, says Russell Smith

WE ENTER 2024 with perhaps a higher sense of optimism than we had at the mid-point in the year. A stabilisation in inflation and subsequently of interest rates offers better conditions both business investment and growth and in 2024. The Royal Academy of Engineer reports over 5 million people contributing in excess of £500bn to the UK economy annually. These numbers form an undeniable backbone of the UK economy despite those naysayers about British manufacturing. 

We expect to see innovation continuing to be crucial in driving this growth. Demand for skilled engineering and manufacturing professionals remains incredibly high. But where will this growth be at its steepest and what will the jobs be that fuel this growth in an ever-evolving landscape?

  • Robotics engineers

Robotics is now embraced across so many industries. The integration of robotics enhances speed, provide and overall efficiency. Already well established in high-speed FMCG and Distribution environments, The need for robotics engineers is set to climb as more fields see the benefits of investing. 

  • Automation engineers

Smart technologies driven by the automation of more and more processes within the design, development, test and maintenance functions means that the demand for Automation engineers has never been higher and shows no sign of abating in 2024. 

  • Environmental and sustainability engineers

With an increased emphasis on sustainability, Environmental and Sustainability Engineers are in high demand. No business can ignore the long term of impact of environmental damage and the drive for sustainability. The holistic view is no longer the preserve of the ‘eco warrior’ but is now a fundamental driver of any credible manufacturing organisation. These professionals play a crucial role in developing and implementing sustainable practices within manufacturing processes. Their work aligns with the global commitment to reduce environmental impact and build a more sustainable future.

  • Supply chain optimisation professionals

As industries focus on resilience and adaptability in their supply chains, professionals with expertise in optimization are highly valued. Efficient supply chain management is critical for the success of manufacturing operations. Supply Chain Optimisation Professionals play a key role in streamlining processes, reducing costs, and ensuring the timely delivery of materials. 

  • Quality assurance engineers (AI and machine learning)

Incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in quality assurance processes is a growing trend. Quality Assurance Engineers specializing in AI and ML are essential for developing systems that can autonomously monitor and enhance product quality quickly and efficiently. 

  • Manufacturing data analysts

The rise of Industry 4.0 has ushered in an era where data is the most valuable asset in manufacturing. Manufacturing Data Analysts are in high demand to interpret and leverage data for optimising production processes. Their insights contribute to informed decision-making, predictive maintenance, and overall efficiency improvements within manufacturing facilities.

  • 3D printing engineers

With additive manufacturing gaining prominence, 3D printing engineers are becoming increasingly sought after. These professionals specialize in utilising innovative 3D printing technologies to create prototypes, components, and products. The versatility and efficiency offered by 3D printing make these engineers highly valued in various manufacturing sectors.

In summary, the engineering and manufacturing industry in the UK is witnessing an exciting and rapid shift, driven by technological advancements and a commitment to sustainability At Hunter Selection we take pride in dealing with the best employers and the best talent in the UK. If you are considering a new role in 2024 or looking to hire the best talent in Engineering, Manufacturing, Science, Technology or Service why not contact one of our specialist consultants who will be delighted to guide you through the possibilities available and how we can help. 

Russell Smith is founder and MD of Hunter Selection

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