British recovery threatened by lack of candidates
A shortage of workers is hampering UK employment recovery as the country’s Covid crisis recedes.
The reopening of more sectors of the economy sparked a surge in hiring activity in May, according to the latest KPMG survey and REC Report on Jobs.
Demand for workers has grown at the fastest rate in over 23 years, with permanent appointments increasing at a record pace. The growth of temporary billing has also reached unprecedented levels.
However, the supply of workers has declined significantly, with overall candidate availability declining at the fastest rate since May 2017 and the fastest rise in job vacancies since 1998.
According to the researchers, this was linked to fewer European applicants, staff on leave and lingering pandemic uncertainty resulting in reluctance to seek new roles.
Workers were particularly needed in IT and IT, as well as hospitality, according to the survey. Retail trade has seen only modest growth in demand.
The increase in vacancies with fewer applicants resulted in an increase in starting wages, with starting wages and temporary wages increasing faster than in April.
Regionally, the north of England saw the largest increase in permanent staff appointments of the four English regions monitored, although growth rates were also high elsewhere.
The North also saw the biggest increase in temp billings while the Midlands saw a relatively modest growth rate, and London was described as ‘stagnant’.
Job vacancies and the demand for permanent staff have grown much faster in the private sector than in the public sector.
Claire Warnes, partner and head of education, skills and productivity at KPMG UK, said the labor market “seemed to be running at full speed”, but added that the deterioration in supply and availability staffing was a “disturbing trend”.
She called for new policies to support employment: “We need companies and recruiters to work alongside government to urgently close the skills gap by helping candidates and employees to develop and improve their skills. retrain to access new roles. This will be crucial for our recovery from the pandemic and the leveling of opportunities across the UK. “
Kate Shoesmith, REC deputy general manager, called on employers to look at wages and benefits and meet the demand for hybrid and flexible work. Government action, however, was essential. The ministers were to urgently address “improving access to work and opportunities for everyone to participate in training that will lead to employment.” It should start with career information that indicates where vacancies are created and funding for relevant job-related training. “
A government spokesperson said: “Our multibillion-pound employment plan, including the Kickstart program, is helping employers across the country create jobs and help job seekers acquire skills. and the experience needed to develop their careers and fill roles for years to come.
“In addition, we have increased the incentive to hire apprentices to £ 3,000 per new apprentice hired and our Lifetime Skills Guarantee – worth around £ 3,400 per person – ensures that all adults can acquire new skills and qualifications. “
The REC / KPMG report is compiled by IHS Markit from responses to questionnaires sent to a panel of around 400 UK recruitment and employment firms.
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