Recruiting for the manufacturing and engineering sectors

The shortage of potential employees in the manufacturing and engineering sectors is a serious challenge that merits a serious response.

Too many companies react to employee needs by scrambling to fill the holes as they appear. And then they do not know who to turn to because the general recruitment agency that they use for administrative staff does not understand the industry we are working in and what type of candidate is needed. Other channels such as newspapers or social media sites can produce numbers because of the high unemployment rate in South Africa but it is highly likely that the vast majority of the CVs submitted will not be suitable and can waste plenty of time. In this process potential employees can be missed because they get lost amongst the many.

To address the situation a specialist recruitment agency – Trading Places – has been established by partners that now have many years of experience in the manufacturing sector, working in the engineering industry and also supplying product to industry and academia.

“We have been involved in the manufacturing sector from many different aspects and in many different industries feeding the sector,” said Ryan Scott, one of the founding partners of Trading Places.

“We are trained technicians and have worked in industrial businesses on the manufacturing side before changing careers to be importers and suppliers of high-end software and equipment that is used in the many different segments of manufacturing. We also started a company to concentrate on training and upskilling personnel that are already employed or are individuals seeking to enhance their skillset and become more attractive to being employed.”

“There are multiple career paths and many opportunities available for those that want to work in the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing offers interesting and challenging work but recruiting and training people to fulfill careers in the industry is also becoming a challenge.”

“For many years now we have heard the constant chatter of ‘I can’t find skilled and reliable staff’. Or ‘I had a trusted guy that I trained and now he has moved for 10 cents more an hour.’ We decided it was time to help our clients in their hour of need and open up a manufacturing and engineering recruitment consultancy.”

“We at Trading Places have the knowledge and skills to source and screen candidates before referring them. With more than 23 years’ experience in CNC manufacturing our backgrounds include machining, CAD/CAM software for aiding the design and manufacturing processes, providing solutions for the tooling, production engineering, sheet metal, metal fabrication, stone, and woodworking industries. Additionally we are very active in coordinate measuring and other measuring requirements, portable inspection, portable scanning, reverse engineering, inspection and 3D printing and scanning.”

“Our expertise provides us with an in-depth understanding of the requirements this industry demands. We have collaborated with employers of all sizes, and with a large database of highly skilled candidates, we find the perfect match between talent and company.”

“Initially we will be concentrating on the blue collar sector up to foreman and workshop manager status. If we see from a candidate’s CV that they are lacking in some skills we will offer them training at our iKusasa Training Centre, a merSETA accredited, level 2 B-BBEE training facility.”

“We also want to recruit a wide spread of engineering talent with the advanced skill-sets required for the engineering and manufacturing technologies of tomorrow. Many company’s efforts are now focussed on the most up-to-date engineering skills including robotics, artificial intelligence, data science, design for assembly and advanced manufacturing project management.”

“We are also recruiting for other manufacturing industries in the South Africa, to fill the jobs of the future. Many of these are associated with advanced technology, materials and engineering processes across a range of industry sectors.”

“The Trading Places website is being populated from two aspects: Looking to hire and job hunting. Our recruitment expert Annalize Henning, who has been in the recruiting business since 2006, is compiling lists of quality CVs with known capabilities for permanent and short-term positions.”

“At the moment these skills and capabilities include fitters, assemblers, foremen, machine operators and setters, maintenance engineers, metalworkers, metrologists and other measurement engineers and technicians, operations supervisors, toolmakers, quality assurance managers, forklift drivers, machine programmers, maintenance and workshop managers, workshop technicians, injection moulding specialists and machine setters, mechanical and manufacturing engineers, quality controllers and more.”

“Both employers and job seekers can also sign up for our monthly newsletter and our top 10 candidates list.”

“Besides our own promotional activities we will also be using social media channels such as LinkedIn and Pnet to recruit and advertise.”

“It is our intention to become the catalyst for sourcing and supplying personnel for the manufacturing and engineering sectors.”

For further details contact Trading Places Manufacturing Recruitment on TEL: 010 541 1540 or visit