Ex-Rover purchasers in demand among employers

11 May 2005
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12 May 2005 | David Arminas

Job opportunities are emerging for the 100 or so former MG Rover purchasers but some may need to relocate from the West Midlands to maximise their employment prospects.

The positive development follows earlier concerns that some may struggle to find new jobs.

"All markets are crying out for good procurement skills, especially manufacturers going into their first-tier suppliers to help them make savings," said Jonathan Abell, manager of the supply chain practice at the Birmingham office of international recruitment firm Michael Page.

"But purchasers should think about relocation and be more flexible on this," said Abell, who had placed seven former purchasers by the beginning of May, with more offers on the table.

He added that Rover had an excellent reputation for training and this improved job prospects.

Lynne Hardman, managing director of Hays Purchasing, said: "We have a project team including an ex-Rover purchaser helping the buyers with their CVs and interviewing techniques."

"While relocation may be required, we believe a number of the skills are transferable."

John Sexton, head of supply chain at British Energy, which operates eight nuclear power stations and one coal-fired plant, agreed: "The message is: don't limit yourselves to jobs around Birmingham."

British Energy took on two Rover category managers last month for its Barnwood station in Gloucestershire, and has interviewed another for a position at the Sizewell station in Suffolk.

Sexton said their supplier management and negotiation skills are useful in other sectors.

"Automotive sector purchasers are especially cost-conscious, but they can also work well with suppliers. At British Energy we have an increasing need for supplier development."

This was also a factor in the hiring of two senior Rover purchasers by Terex, a maker of heavy construction equipment with offices in Coventry, Germany, Italy and India.

Richard Jessom, Terex's group purchasing director, said: "We need people who can work in a team with logistics and quality assurance people and the Rover purchasers have these qualities."

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