The UK manufacturing industry racked up £380 billion of product sales in 2017, accounting for 44% of total UK exports and employing 2.6 million people. The personnel risks apparent within a workforce of that size are substantial.  Traditional staff risks such as fraud or theft are of course present in this sector. But the risk of hiring an unsuitable person (or of a current employee subsequently becoming unsuitable) can just as easily impact the bottom line if it results in valuable equipment being damaged, faulty products being recalled or slick, just-in-time production lines being disrupted. 

Machine down-time is estimated to cost UK manufacturers 3% of their working days per year; something which comes at a significant cost in terms of lost productivity and revenue. More often than not, this is down to faulty machinery or a lack of replacement parts. However, employees can play their part too – either through incompetence (they were never qualified to use a piece of machinery, for example) or something more premeditated. 

In 2018, fear of premeditated sabotage on the production line led Tesla founder Elon Musk to cryptically urge staff to stay alert after an inexplicable small fire brought production to a halt for several hours. No direct employee implications were made but there was a clear message to remain watchful for anything on the factory floor that was “not in the company’s best interests”.  As reported in the Daily Telegraph, this came just a day after a disgruntled employee gained access to Tesla’s manufacturing operating system and passed sensitive company data on to various third parties. 

Leaving any possible subterfuge aside, making sound recruitment decisions within this sector is heavily influenced by the need to maintain health and safety standards. This is a critical concern across the sector, due to the nature of the work and the equipment it uses. Bearing in mind the duty of care expected of employers within the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act, the risk of accidents being caused by unqualified workers must be a significant consideration.

Further information on CTPAT and export is covered on our Logistics & Warehousing page.

Checks that employers may want to consider running in this sector

Right to Work: We’ll ensure that a candidate’s documentation meets the current Home Office requirements. We can also repeat checks as and when needed for individuals who have a limited entitlement to remain in the UK.
Identity checksTo prevent employers falling victim to identity fraud, we can undertake electronic verification checks on ID documents provided by a candidate. Alternatively, we can provide online identity checks, using biographical data.
Criminal record checks: We’ll undertake the appropriate level of UK criminal record checks, subject to strict eligibility guidelines. We’re also able to obtain overseas criminal records for candidates with an international background.
Employment history: We can verify a candidate’s work history and references for the past three years, including checks on the existence and authenticity of all listed employers. Using our CV comparison service, we can also check for any discrepancies between the CV used to secure an interview and the subsequent findings of the full background check.
Professional and academic qualifications: Where applicable, we can check the validity of someone’s professional accreditations or registrations while also checking that their academic qualifications are genuine. For all professional and academic qualifications, we’ll always check at source with the awarding body.
Global fraud and sanctions watchlistsWe’ll check to see whether a candidate’s name appears on any of the hundreds of publicly available watchlists worldwide, relating to anything from terrorism and fraud through to being a barred or politically exposed person.
Credit checks: We’ll establish a candidate’s identity, address history and financial status via credit referencing agency records. The search will reveal details of financial probity and information including County Court Judgements, bankruptcies and voluntary arrangements within the last six years. This search will be recorded on the candidate’s file but will not be visible to other parties and will not affect the candidate’s credit score.  
Social media checks: An increasingly popular – and relevant – check for employers keen to understand whether someone’s social media activity could damage their brand, reputation or client relationships. As well as highlighting illegal activity and undesirable characteristics, such checks can also play a part in authenticating a candidate’s employment history.
Driving licence checks: We’ll check that the candidate does indeed have a valid driving licence. We’ll also check for any endorsements or disqualifications currently on their licence.



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