Employers across the UK are increasingly unable to fill jobs as demand for staff rises and EU workers move overseas following last year’s Brexit vote, new data claims.
According to a study from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), despite the demand for permanent staff being at its strongest in nearly two years, the number of candidates applying has taken a nosedive.
The research, which surveyed 400 recruitment agencies, found that the sectors with the biggest demand for permanent staff last month were engineering and the NHS.
The slowest increase in demand was for construction workers.
Nursing, care and medical sectors had the highest demand for temporary staff.
Sky News reported that Tom Hadley, director of policy at REC, said:
“Official data shows unemployment has dropped to the lowest level since 1975, and EU citizens are leaving the UK in droves.
“Employers seeking to fill vacancies are running out of options. Skill shortages are causing headaches in many sectors.”
He added: “The NHS, for example, is becoming increasingly reliant on short-term cover to fill gaps in hospital rotas because there aren’t enough nurses to take permanent roles.”
The shortage of skilled cybersecurity staff, Tom explained, is a “particular concern” for many businesses. He continued:
“Whichever party forms the next government must focus on improving the employability of our young people and boosting inclusion for under-represented groups.
“Alongside this, these figures clearly show that in many sectors we need more, not fewer, people so that businesses can grow and public services continue to deliver.”
Data from the Office of National Statistics last month showed that net migration dropped below 250k in 2016 – down by 84k compared to 2015.
The total was attributed to a rise in emigration, which rose year on year by 40k. The majority of those emigrating were EU citizens, with the number leaving at around 117k, up 31k against the year previous.
Written by: Richard Bell