Skills shortage hits local firms

Jamie Paige, a CNC programmer at Bernard Holmes precision engineering. EMN-190104-115735001
Jamie Paige, a CNC programmer at Bernard Holmes precision engineering. EMN-190104-115735001

A Sleaford area business is so desperately seeking to recruit skilled engineers it has helped form a local industry group to attract young school leavers.

Kay Pryslak is managing director of Bernard Holmes precision engineering of Billingborough, which has been in business for nearly 60 years, employing 23 staff.

Kay Pryszlak, Managing Director at Bernard Holmes precision engineering. EMN-190104-115828001

Kay Pryszlak, Managing Director at Bernard Holmes precision engineering. EMN-190104-115828001

She explained: “This skills shortage is felt by all engineering companies, but as our work is so highly skilled we struggle more than most.

“As MD I feel it is my job to promote engineering as a career choice in this area.”

Over the years the company has trained up a lot of its own staff, but it is finding it harder and harder find anyone new with the right potential.

Kay has started a group called Engineered In Grantham, with funding from InvestSK, which includes several other local engineering firms and Grantham College, to train new apprentices.

She said: “We have trained staff up within five years to operate our best machines and have two apprentices at the moment, looking for at least one more in September.”

But she said they particularly need interested people already with some engineering background, as they have so much on their order books.

Kay said a whole range of know-how can be tapped into. She said: “It is about transferable skills. One of our guys used to work on go karts and is now one of our most skilled engineers.”

Future job prospects are good too. Call 01529 240241.