Winds of change blow in as Siemens recruits

Global engineering giant Siemens is hoping to attract thousands of job-seekers at a series of careers events in Hull as it looks to fill 1,000 jobs.

Opportunity knocks: From left, Hull City Councils Helen Stinson, Carolyn Woolway of Siemens, Bob Ferraby of Hull Council, Anna Botten of Siemens, Wind Power UKs Austin Lillico, Simon Roberts of East Riding Council, Bluestorm account manager Paul Ewen and JobCentre manager Lorraine Alexander. Picture: Sean Spencer/Hull News & Pictures Ltd.

Where possible Siemens is looking to fill the roles with local people and Carolyn Woolway, Siemens’ head of human resources for the Hull project, said that there was talent in the region that the firm is hoping to attract.

Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, Ms Woolway said: “I think from the more specialist and niche roles that we’ve seen so far, we’ve found that there is a good response locally. We know there will be some roles that we won’t be able to fill locally, you’ve got to be realistic.”

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Ms Woolway said that bridging the gap between training and employment was very high on the agenda for Siemens.

“It’s no secret that there is a lack of engineers in the UK. Something, somewhere has to be done to bridge that gap,” she said.

One way in which Siemens hopes to tackle the shortfall in engineering talent is by engaging more with young children and called on schools to take advantage of collateral opportunities offered by Siemens.

Ms Woolway said: “It’s really just engaging with children to try and get them interested in these subjects.

“Locally we’ve got lesson planners, we’ve got interactive games that children can play which encourages that interest in science, in technology. Siemens has Crystal in London, which is a huge showcase for STEM, teachers can take children there.”

Siemens is hoping to attract up to 7,000 visitors across three careers events and will be working with Jobcentre Plus to help prospective employees build their CVs. The engineering firm is hoping the events are fully booked.

Ms Woolway said: “I hope we get 7,000 people coming along to the three events. We can help educate the people in terms of the roles that we have available. That people can get the message that we’re really keen to recruit local people.”

She also added that the firm was hoping to help people understand what its culture is.

“We also have people there who can help parents understand what we have to offer with The Curiosity Project and The Crystal, and the collateral that’s available to them as parents,” she added.

Ms Woolway says she is confident that they will get 7,000 visitors.

“We’ve had unprecedented interests in our roles so I’m confident that we will fill the slots that are available,” she said.

Siemens are very confident in attracting people with the right skill sets. Ms Woolway said: “There’s a huge range of roles available. A lot of the skills sets are very applicable to our local industry – we’ve got manufacturing, we’ve got the caravan industry. We know we’ve got semi-skilled people in the local area. We need people managers, we need a whole range of different skills. We know that the Yorkshire region has those skills available so we are confident.”

Ms Woolway wants to see more women take on roles at Siemens and in engineering in general.

She said: “There’s this perception that it’s dirty and horrible, it’s absolutely not. It’s a white coat business. We’ve just offered roles to three female engineers recently and for one of them it’s her first day and I know she’s going to go into a clean environment.”

Hull is a great place to set up and that is the message for other large companies looking at expansion says Ms Woolway.

She said: “I’m biased because I was born and raised in this area but from what I’m seeing, Siemens has very much been welcomed to the city. There has been a lot of positivity surrounding the new facility. We’ve had a great response from local people who are interested in working for Siemens as well. From a HR perspective I certainly would endorse it.”

With partner Associated British Ports (ABP), Siemens is investing £310m in the Hull project to create a world-beating offshore wind turbine blade manufacturing, assembly, logistics and servicing facilities.

Siemens anticipates delivering the first blades early in 2017 and for the facilities at Alexandra Dock to be fully staffed, with a workforce of around 1,000 people, later in that year.

There will be three events across Hull showcasing employment opportunities at Siemens. One will be at the Freedom Centre, Preston Road, Hull on September 29, one at the Mercure Grange Park Hotel, Willerby, on September 30 and one at the Guildhall, Hull on October 3.

To attend the events, being staged in partnership with Hull City Council, East Riding Council and Jobcentre Plus, people must register at