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Rhys Harris, Associate Director at Morson International Provides an Insight into Industrial Staffing in the UK in New SIA Report

Jessica Tabinor industrynews

construction insights SIA

     CONSTRUCTION NEWS | 5 MIN READ

  • Read the interview with Rhys Harris,  Morson's Associate Director of Construction and EPB 

  • Find out about the latest industry trends in construction 

Rhys Harris, Associate Director of Construction and EPB has been featured in a new SIA report discussing industrial staffing in the UK and more specifically, industrial staffing solutions at Morson.

The report highlighted that job growth has been the strongest in the mining, energy and water supply sector, with growth reaching double digits in quarter 3 of 2018. Job growth was mostly positive in 2017 for the construction and accommodation & food services sectors.


A closer look at construction recruitment

The construction industry is currently one of the most exciting sectors to work in with an appetite for new technologies, investment and challenging the status quo, with figures standing at 18% higher than it was twenty years ago.

Other key industries mentioned in the report included employment in mining, energy and water supply which has risen steadily over the past two decades. Employment stood at 585,000 jobs in quarter 3 of 2018, which represents a 59% expansion from 367,000 jobs at the start of 1998.


Interview with Rhys Harris, Associate Director at Morson International


Please describe your industrial staffing business?

“Roughly 25% of our group turnover is industrial staffing and all 60 of our UK offices support industrial staffing to some degree. We have an on-site presence at large clients and around 380 out of our 950 staff are involved with industrial staffing. Morson is one of the most experienced MSP providers in the UK, with over half of our turnover coming from MSP clients.”


How is your industrial staffing business organised and what assignment lengths are most common?

“We organise by industry sector, for example, construction, nuclear, manufacturing, rail, IT etc. Based on current contractor data, the average tenure is 21 months.”


What trends do you see in pay rates and bill rates?

“We have not seen a huge spike in pay rates although we expect this to change if there isn’t a clearer strategy very soon about the free movement of people from Europe into the UK. The flow  of European labour coming into the UK is slowing and at an 8-year low.”


Where are you seeing strong demand for temp workers?

“We are seeing surges in requirements around the major UK infrastructure and energy projects, several major construction projects are taking place that will not only improve the lives of millions of people but also create tens of thousands of construction jobs. We have one project alone will require over 15,000 blue collar workers.”


Currently, what factors are most important for industrial staffing firms to succeed? What can management do?

“Listening to your clients and making sure you deliver it is very important. Studies have shown a diverse team is more innovative, so by building diversity strategies into your recruitment, you ensure you attract and source the widest range of people for your clients.

You should always make sure your approach to talent attraction is innovative, forward thinking and really connects with the target audience.”


With so many new technologies, where do staffing firms most need to innovate?

“Recruiters will benefit from adopting automation in their sourcing. We are trailing software that pre-sorts and shortlists our candidates CVs – freeing recruiter time to support on added value initiatives with clients and source harder to fill roles. Our own technology supports our clients’ end-to-end recruitment process and integrates with job board aggregators such as Broadbean to deliver greater efficiencies.”


If you’re interested in finding out more about the opportunities available with Morson, browse our current vacancies here.