By Marcus Leach

A new national web based system, Talent Retention Solution (TRS), will help match skilled employees facing redundancy to UK companies in growing sectors of advanced manufacturing and engineering who are recruiting, Minister for Business Mark Prisk announced today.

The easy to use system comes as a result of work undertaken by the Skills and Jobs Retention Group (SJRG) and Semta (the Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies) to support defence engineers who may be struggling to find work in today’s difficult economic climate.

Business and Semta are providing in kind funding for staff resources to support TRS implementation and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) have awarded £450,000 under the Employer Investment Fund. The system is business led and will be fully funded by business from January 2012.

Following a short implementation phase, TRS will become fully operational by January 2012, when it is expected that over 1500 employers across the UK will have signed up to the system, ranging from large organisations in each sector to the smallest SMEs. The system will provide live data broken down by skills and geography.

Manufacturing and engineering companies which have already signed up to the system and who are recruiting over the coming year include Rolls Royce (1000), Siemens (500), Nissan (200) and Airbus (600). Supply chain companies will also be able to use the system for redeployment and recruitment.

Launching TRS, Minister for Business and Enterprise Mark Prisk said:

"The defence sector makes a substantial contribution to the country’s skills economy through high value jobs and as a key sponsor of apprenticeships and training. This easily accessible web based system will play a vital role in ensuring that these skills are not lost by redeploying highly skilled workers into growing sectors of advanced manufacturing such as automotive, energy, infrastructure and aerospace.”

Allan Cook, Chairman of Semta and the SJRG, said:

“The UK operates in a competitive international market. Success in these markets is dependent upon providing the best products, services and solutions for their clients. We rely totally on highly skilled staff to design, develop and produce these products and services. It is imperative for future success and economic growth that we do all that we can to retain, recruit and motivate our employees within the advanced engineering and manufacturing sectors.

“This new web based talent retention system will assist businesses in the high growth engineering and manufacturing sector to recruit the staff they need to compete successfully in the international market.”

At present the demand for skilled engineers far exceeds supply. TRS will complement existing commercial recruitment activity by creating a talent pool of skilled defence employees who need redeployment. The intention is to then expand the scope of the system so that it can redeploy skilled employees from across the advanced manufacturing and engineering sectors and will be an important tool in situations where large scale redundancies are occurring.