Engineering consultant Scientific Generics is to recruit up to 150 engineers over the next three years after securing planning permission to extend its green-belt site near Cambridge.
The company, which specialises in consultancy in wireless and wireline technologies, expects to take on at least 10 staff by the end of the year as part of the expansion programme.
Human resources director Jon Sparks said mechanical, civil and electronic engineers and a range of scientists and telecomms experts would be needed. He admitted that competition from other employers in the region would make recruitment difficult.
Sony and Microsoft have invested millions in research and development sites in the area, nicknamed Silicon Fen. More than 400 IT firms are located in the region. `There is a very competitive market here,’ Sparks said.
`In Cambridge in particular, many companies are recruiting people of the same calibre and skill type. The candidates are increasingly in demand.’
Sparks added that he had seen no evidence of skill shortages, but the company would be looking to recruit many of the new staff from overseas.
`We could probably get all the staff we need from the UK, but we actually want to recruit from overseas,’ Sparks said. `This enriches the working environment, and we believe the diversity contributes very strongly to the innovation process.’ There are 15 nationalities already represented on the site.
Staff have the opportunity to set up their own company within Scientific Generics if they develop new technology while working on a project. Ten of the firm’s 200 employees have done so in the past year and Sparks said this was a big attraction for potential recruits.
`We make money from licensing the new technology they develop, and the engineer can also profit from that. They can then leave Scientific Generics as founder of a spin-off company.’
The firm also offers staff a £1,000 bonus if they suggest a successful recruit.
The new staff will be recruited mainly through selected agencies, but advertising and `head-hunting’ will also be used.