Nick Smith confirmed as speaker at UEIL Congress 2018


Eleven team lubricants-and-chemicals, Eleven News

Nick Smith confirmed as speaker at UEIL Congress 2018

The UEIL (Union of European Lubricants Industry) Congress 2018 is scheduled to take place at the Hilton Budapest on 24th to 26th October. We're delighted to confirm that Eleven MD, Nick Smith will be addressing the delegates as well as taking part in an industry expert panel debate.

The team at Eleven (the new name for Oil Recruitment) have specialised in the lubricants industry since 1999 and have witnessed many changes in the industry over the last two decades, one of the most significant being the growing skills shortage. To find out how much the problem is affecting lubricant companies, we surveyed 141 people from across the sector, and carried out individual interviews with industry leaders, to form the basis of an in-depth whitepaper. Nick will present the findings at the UEIL Congress and comments, “It’s clear that the industry feels there’s a significant and urgent problem. Rather than burying our heads in the sand or thinking that quick fixes such as higher salaries are the answer, it’s time to address why the industry is missing out on talent.”

The problem

There is an ageing workforce and the industry is failing to attract young people and women. The skills are out there but they are not finding their way to the sector, which could prove critical by 2030.

Companies are struggling to meet their performance targets or are predicting that they will do in the next five years, with more than three quarters of those surveyed believing that a skills shortage is to blame.

They are also finding it difficult to fill job vacancies and acknowledge that they need better ways to attract and retain talent. A staggering 84% of respondents said that the recruitment process was taking longer than average because of the skills shortage.

According to the research there are several issues to blame. As well as an absence of vision and investment, the gap between education and what the industry wants, featured prominently in respondents’ comments.

Another major factor is the lack of women. Companies are missing out on a significant pool of talent by not ensuring diversity in their recruitment practices.

Image also has a big part to play, especially when attracting millennials, as UKLA director general David Wright, highlights: “New media-driven industries have become more sexy and attractive for new graduates. The challenge we face is to make our industry appealing to the next generation of outstanding scientists and engineers.”

The perception of the industry has to change. Few graduates are choosing to enter the lubricants industry, yet, despite a dip in figures this year, the number of school leavers studying chemical engineering and other STEM subjects at degree level has steadily risen since 2007, with figures indicating a 32% increase by 2015-16. Many of those questioned also felt that better apprenticeships and mentorships could help to solve the skills problem.

The survey results were telling and revealed that companies are choosing short-term solutions over long-term strategies such as improving the positioning of the industry or redeveloping individual brands.

If you are unable to attend the UEIL Congress but would like to register to receive a copy of the whitepaper, please contact us here.