The manufacturing sector relies on maintenance technicians to keep their companies functioning both effectively and safely. 

The challenge is finding them, or so it seems at the moment. 

At Sigma Recruitment we have been placing maintenance technicians with our clients for over ten years, and during this period their availability has changed drastically. 

I suspect you are wondering why? 

As you might imagine, as a specialist manufacturing recruitment company, we have explored and researched the facts behind this challenging issue for our clients. 

We have noticed three specific areas that are having an effect. 

Skill Shortage 



I don’t want to bore you with something you already know, but the technical skills shortage does explain one aspect of the challenge.  

There is a skills shortage of engineers in the UK and STEM graduate numbers, though increasing, haven’t filled the increasing demand for their expertise.  

Consequently, over the past 24 months, we have tracked the rise in compensation and benefits that maintenance technicians can command, which is higher than ever. 

Imagine being a technician who is well paid.  The question they have is: why should I move, unless it’s for better conditions, a bigger brand, development or opportunity? 

The Decline In Apprenticeships 

Many business owners and employees have different views on the value of apprenticeships. The general feeling we pick up is that they were/are a positive thing in the manufacturing sector.  

Apprenticeships have, over time, provided employees with the training and hands-on experience required to succeed in highly regarded skilled occupations.  

Traditionally, these have been in crafts such as masonry and carpentry and, more recently, in the engineering and technology industries. Since 2010, an increase in government funding has seen more than two million apprenticeships taken up.  

However, this surge in numbers has been mainly in sectors such as customer service, retail, administration and care. Unfortunately, these apprenticeships have not sufficiently matched the skills needed by the manufacturing sector. 

Automation Has Its Ups and Downs 

Automation is part of our development as a planet and a global workforce, and it has many positive attributes. 

For example, in the manufacturing sector, it has lead to higher production rates and increased productivity, more efficient use of materials, better product quality, improved safety, shorter workweeks and reduced factory lead times. 

All well and good except that more automation and machinery means more maintenance, servicing and breakdowns. 

All of which require the skills of a maintenance technician. 

You can see why this makes such an impact, can’t you?  

Let’s explore what you can do about both finding and identifying the right maintenance technicians. 

Logically the first point should be what does a great technician look like? 

What are the Characteristics of a Great Maintenance Technician? 


Maintenance engineers are essential parts of a high-performance manufacturing team. They’re responsible for designing, implementing and maintaining the maintenance strategies that keep your business running. The best maintenance technicians often possess the following traits: 

How to Recruit the Best Maintenance Technicians 

Once you know which traits to look for in a maintenance technician, you’ll still need to find and recruit those must-have employees. Unfortunately, research into UK jobseekers shows a severe shortage in manufacturing skills as we have already explored above. 

So, how do you get the talent you need in a competitive market? 

1. Work with a Specialist Recruitment Company

Here at Sigma Recruitment, we specialise in finding the best manufacturing candidates for our clients. For more than ten years, we’ve built our track record for recruiting across the South West.  

Specialist recruitment companies like ourselves have developed, over time, a large and comprehensive database of highly skilled maintenance candidates. This means that you have access to candidates who may not be currently active in the market that we can approach on your behalf. 

Recruitment companies: 

2. Refine Your Employer Brand



Your “employer brand” defines how your staff and job candidates feel about your company. The right reputation pulls people towards your organisation, convincing the best maintenance technicians that you have the best opportunities for them. Improve your brand by: 

3. Optimise the Recruitment Process

Finally, make sure that you have a strategy in place to bring new talent onto your team as quickly as possible. A great interviewing strategy and a speedy recruitment process improve your chances of successful talent acquisition. Remember to: 

Best regards 

Rhys Williams  

About Sigma Recruitment 

We are ‘South Wales Recruitment Specialists’ based in Cardiff, Wales. 

We offer a full range of permanent recruitment solutions to many of South Wales’ and the South Wests’ leading manufacturing, technical, automotive and life science organisations. This includes companies in Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, Ebbw Vale, Port Talbot, Bridgend and the surrounding areas in South Wales. 

Sigma Recruitment has one of the largest and most comprehensive recruitment candidate databases in the area. To get in touch with our team call us now on 02920 450 100. Alternatively, contact us here. 

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