Scottish Engineering: Bridges, cautious optimism and the sunshine city

Driving across the new Queensferry Crossing on route to Dundee (sunshine capital of Scotland) to attend the Scottish Engineering district meeting, I am reminded how staggering an engineering feat the new bridge really is. Looking to the right I see the iconic Rail Bridge and I realise how entwined Scotland and engineering have been over the past 100 plus years, not to mention the feeling of national pride at how awesome Scotland really is!

Andrew Wands, Escape Recruitment

Andrew Wands, Design and Development Recruitment Consultant

How engineering has changed over the last century is truly staggering and although there is still large heavy engineering within the Scottish manufacturing sector we are seeing a definite step towards more intricate electronic engineering and advanced new technologies that are at the cutting edge of the global market.

I am proud to have been asked to represent Escape Recruitment at last week’s meeting and I love being given the opportunity to meet new people and companies within engineering, at the same time as learning about new technologies. Albacom in Dundee were the hosts for the meeting and after doing some research into what the company do, I was very excited to meet them and learn more about their services and capabilities.

These meetings are always interesting and have an odd way about them. As the only recruitment agency involved with Scottish Engineering, this could be seen as an incredible opportunity to, SELL SELL SELL!!! That’s not the purpose of our involvement. We have a genuine interest in what Scottish Engineering does and how they support this fantastic industry we are involved in, this is about sharing our market knowledge and what we think could be done to help the market grow.

Scottish Engineering Logo

It was great to meet Paul Sheerin, the new Chief Executive of Scottish Engineering, and hear about his background and knowledge of engineering. Under his leadership, I feel that we are in good hands as he is a worthy successor to Brian Buchan. Summarising the latest quarterly review findings, it was great to see the progress manufacturing has made, I think the term would be cautious optimism. Manufacturing and engineering are on the up, exports are up for the 6th successive quarter as well as order intake and staffing levels. However, we as an industry can’t lose focus and take our eye off the ball as we are all aware of what it has taken to get to this point and that without continuous hard work none of this would be possible.

One of the main topics for discussion were the difficulties companies are facing when it comes to finding candidates with the necessary sector skills. There was a discussion on how we can influence colleges and universities to make courses and training more relevant to what the market needs, including more placements within companies and hands-on engineering. I think that this is a key point and working in the recruitment sector we have the first-hand experience of what companies are looking for versus candidates on the market. Many of our clients are now looking for candidates that can provide examples of transferable skills, however on the flip side of that many organisations we work with are investing in training for their people to help not only them, but their organisation grow.

Now for the bit I really enjoy…… a short presentation from Albacom on what the company do, followed by a tour of their facilities. Some of my colleagues may think it’s ‘geeky’ but I always enjoy this bit as I have a genuine interest in how things work, processes, manufacturing and engineering in general. It was fascinating to see the facilities and hear directly from the Engineering Manager, it gives you the real sense of how impressive engineering in Scotland really is.

I know that I mentioned this previously but attending these meetings really does fill me with pride for the sector I work in and I know my colleagues at Escape and I will always strive to improve and provide the best support for our customers and clients.


“Looking to the right I see the iconic Rail Bridge and I realise how entwined Scotland and engineering have been over the past 100 plus years, not to mention the feeling of national pride at how awesome Scotland really is!”

As I got in the car to head back down the road to the office, I made the decision to drive the scenic route. This took me over the Tay Bridge and once again I was met with more of Scotland’s engineering marvels…. RRS Discovery and the V&A…. the new and the old sitting side by side…… may the engineering sector forever be associated with Scotland and I look forward to more amazing feats of Scottish Engineering!!

You can download a copy of this month’s Quarterly Report from Scottish Engineering here.

Escape Recruitment’s Engineering, Manufacturing & Supply Chain team specialise in recruiting within:

Design and Development | Quality | Process | Maintenance | Management |
Projects |Scientific | Supply Chain, Procurement & Purchasing

Connect with Andrew Wands:
Linkedin | 01506 517 244


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