The manufacturing sector in the UK is under the threat of a skills shortage, it has been suggested.
According to research by Russam GMS, 86 per cent of 400 interim managers believe the success of the sector could be hampered by a lack of skilled workers.
Offshore manufacturing deals and tight profit margins were also mentioned as challenges manufacturing firms must face this year.
John Wilson, head of manufacturing practice at Russam GMS, called for the issue to be addressed sooner rather than later.
"It is an issue that needs addressing now if UK manufacturing companies want to retain their competitive edge in the future," he said.
Furthermore, he noted that the skills shortage is "particularly pronounced at managerial level".
However, Mr Wilson added that the upshot of such problems was that interim managers have "good employment prospects" in the industry.
ClickAJob chief executive Yngve Traberg insists companies need to be more flexible in addressing shortages.
"Many skills, particularly in management, are transferable from industry to industry," he observes.
"Through an online facility such as ClickATest, companies can very quickly verify the kind of skills a prospective candidate can offer, how good they are and how up-to-date," he says.
He adds: "Employers should look wider too - as the credit squeeze bites harder, many senior managers are putting off retirement - a golden opportunity to gain knowledge and experience off the shelf right now."
"The skills shortage will not go away, but individual companies can certainly make less of it by being more proactive."