Machinery industry threatened by lack of personnel

The Swiss machinery, electrical and metal industries are threatened with over capacity Keystone

The machinery industry is faced with the threat of becoming a victim of its own success as the economic upswing leads to bulging order books but also a lack of staff to meet delivery deadlines.

This content was published on July 28, 2000 - 12:09

Swissmem, the Federation for the Machinery, Electrical Equipment and Metal industries welcomes the fact that plants are working at 88 per cent capacity but warns that the industry may not be able to take full advantage of the long-awaited recovery.

Swissmem says that if capacity reaches 90 per cent and beyond, the situation could become critical.

One branch that has bounced back after years of stagnation is textile machinery. It's estimated that annual turnover for companies in this sector could increase by around 30 per cent this year.

But having slimmed down in response to leaner times, it's now difficult for Swiss firms to produce textile machinery on time. On the other hand, companies are still unwilling to expand until they're confident that the economic recovery is sustainable.

It's a theme that's echoed in the machine tool industry as well, with companies saying it's becoming increasingly difficult to find staff with the proper skills.

With the economic boom set to continue and Switzerland headed for full employment, it appears that the lack of human resources is now one of the greatest challenges facing the business world.

swissinfo with agencies

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