It is expected that self-driving cars will be on British roads by 2021, and that by 2030, autonomous vehicles will completely replace standard cars; changing our roads forever. Giants of the automobile industry including BMW, Tesla and Mercedes are all getting in on the autonomous action in the fight to become the first to get a driverless vehicle on the road.
The UK government are investing £22.4 million to develop the technology in the hope that the evolution of driverless vehicles will have a positive impact on our automotive industry and economy as a whole. But to succeed companies must be able to attract the best talent – in this case STEM graduates.
As the UK prepares to leave the EU in 2019, The Chancellor stated his plan to “build a country fit for the future and make the UK a leader in the technological revolution” and is therefore providing £1bn to be spent on high tech projects such as the development of autonomous vehicles.
Although a lot of money is being invested into the industry, there is a real struggle to find the right talent. It’s no secret that the lack of science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills has become a widespread problem, with 43% of STEM vacancies proving difficult to fill and 36% of STEM graduates choosing alternative careers.
So what can we do? Companies developing the latest autonomous technology (as well as the engineering and technology sector in general) are in need of the talent now, as well as needing to build a talent pipeline for the future. There is no question that it is a difficult hiring environment, with a serious amount of competition both in the UK and internationally.
Play the long game – partner with educational institutions such as a colleges or universities to build direct relationships and hire talent straight from education. Additionally, partnering with primary and secondary schools to teach children about STEM roles is a great way of getting them interested and interacting with the industry at a young age.
With the buzz surrounding autonomous vehicles, engineering in the automotive industry is likely to be a very exciting concept to young individuals, so we need to appeal to their interests and showcase the exciting projects their future in STEM could hold. This strategic method of recruitment not only helps to build a business, but it also means companies can positively influence youth to join STEM roles.
If you’re building your talent pipeline, are you doing the following?
• Mentoring university students studying relevant courses
• Sponsoring and awarding relevant educational competitions
• Hosting seminars and workshops showcasing career opportunities
• Offering work experience/apprenticeships/ industrial placements
• Promoting and supporting an employee STEM ambassador initiative (or similar)- get your employees out into the community, engaging with primary and secondary school students
• Attending careers fairs- bring your recent graduates, showcase success stories, demonstrate the career progression routes, talk about your rewards and incentives, and design your stall to draw students and give them a reason to stop and talk to you! Whether it’s a competition, giveaway or showing the latest technologies you’re working on, you need to stand out.
This post originally appeared on the ISL Recruitment blog.