Job vacancies grow significantly in the UK, REC finds

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has found that the amount of job opportunities has grown rapidly over the past four months, but employers and recruitment firms worry about the widening skills gap, despite a government pledge to increase apprenticeship levels.


Demand for employees is high

According to REC research (information from over 400 recruitment firms); there has been an increase in vacancies and higher pay for new recruits, with a high demand for staff within the healthcare industry, particularly for nurses and care staff.

The North and the Midlands showed the greatest need for staff, particularly in the private sector.

‘‘The jobs-rich recovery looks set to continue, with more people being placed into permanent positions last month and businesses across the UK creating more vacancies,’’ said REC chief executive Kevin Green.

‘‘However, there remains a big question about sustainability. Employers report an increasing number of skills shortage areas in both the public and the private sector. Starting salaries continue to rise as businesses battle to attract the people they need but it’s unclear how much longer this trend can continue.’’


‘‘Young people must be better incentivised’’

Green added that the government needs to do more to tackle the growing skills gap, particularly when focussing on immigration.

‘‘Domestically, young people must be better incentivised to acquire the knowledge and skills that are needed most by hirers. A real commitment to delivering world-class careers advice and work experience would be a big step in the right direction.’’

Bernard Brown, of professional services KPMG, feels that the crippling employment statistics within the construction industry needs to be addressed by government.

‘‘With Britain in the grips of a housing crisis, this shortage of skilled workers could throw a serious spanner in the works, slowing projects in the pipeline and pushing up overall build costs as developers bid high to secure the labour they need,’’ said Brown.

‘‘Businesses will want to see this addressed in the Autumn Statement, with measures to boost apprenticeships and encourage the return of small and medium-sized builders, many of whom left the industry in the midst of the recession.’’