Banner Default Image


‘Home grown’ Russell Taylor Group talent duo take on new managerial roles

Posted by Alex Rutter on 12/04/2022

A WORKPLACE strategy of creating its own talent pool has positioned two “home grown” high performers into top roles at Russell Taylor Group.

Stuart Watson, the company’s business development manager, and Tom Owens, who now heads up the business’ Industrial Trades Division, have both risen through the ranks from recruitment consultants to their new posts where their focus will be on equipping the UK’s power stations, industrial manufacturing, industrial construction and refining sectors with the right professions and trades to drive economic recovery.

Russell Taylor Group managing director Rob Kurton said: “Both Stuart and Tom started work here in junior recruitment positions, working in a very competitive marketplace and in a family-run business that, even as a multi-million pound operation, still puts its people first.

“They are perfect examples of the way we train and upskill our own workforce, developing them so they thrive, grow and achieve their career goals.”

Stuart joined Russell Taylor as a trainee consultant 12 years ago recruiting electrical and mechanical personnel with oil and gas backgrounds to work both onshore and offshore. After a 12-month sabbatical recruiting in the oil and gas industry in Houston, Texas, he returned to Russell Taylor and took over the management of the business’ Site Projects team, a post he held until his recent appointment.

His new role also sees him heading up business development activity in Russell Taylor Group’s Construction, Engineering and Manufacturing Divisions where his liaison with team managers and recruitment consultants is key to opening up new employment opportunities in these expanding sectors.

Tom’s Russell Taylor growth journey began when he started work as a labour resourcer, moving on to become a recruitment consultant then senior team leader in the Industrial Trades Division before his new role as manager here.

Working alongside each other at the company headquarters at Burton Manor, Stuart and Tom – with their team of recruiters - are now focusing their energies on tackling skills shortages in their joint operational areas of Industrial Trades.

Stuart explained: “The UK construction industry was hard hit by the pandemic and the constraints it placed on the delivery of projects saw a lot of businesses simply going into survival mode.

“Thankfully, we’ve turned the corner - but there’s still a huge skills shortage, much of it due to the impact of Brexit which has tightened barriers to entry into the UK and seen us lose accessibility to many skilled and semi-skilled construction workers. This, along with an ageing workforce and supply chain disruption, has left us with a situation where there are currently more vacancies than people to fill them.”

Currently in demand and highly sought-after to meet project targets and deadlines for Industrial Trades are skilled scaffolders, welders, industrial painters and blasters, electricians, plumbers and industrial cleaners as major sites at Immingham Dock and the Humber Refinery continue to play a major part in the upturn of the regional and national economy.

Maintenance work during factory and plant shutdowns in the coming months will also call for the temporary recruitment of technical specialist operators, from engineers and mechanics to industrial cleaning experts, who in many cases could be needed 10-12 hours a day, seven days a week.

Tom added: “A huge job is facing us as we start to tackle skills shortages and recruit people whose trade and technical expertise is crucial to getting new projects off the ground and whose specialisms in plant maintenance work ensure safe and future-proofed business operations.

“Because we both started on the bottom rung of the employment ladder ourselves, Stuart and I also know how the training, development and support we have been given here has not only been important to achieving our own career goals but given us the knowledge and experience to do the same for others on their job-seeking journeys.”