During this unpredictable time, the jobs market is improving at the quickest pace numbers have recorded. Though while the economy appears to be improving, there is a rising demand for staff and a worrying shortage of workers available. It’s unknown yet as to whether the end of the furlough scheme will meet this demand, but it’s likely several different solutions will be required to roll out.

The CEO of the REC believes that up-skilling and re-skilling the UK workforce currently on furlough is one way to meet the demand for staff. By supporting these skills programmes, the government can focus on helping individuals transition between industries and secure them long-term employment.

“In a tight jobs market, working with professional recruiters to position your firm as an employer of choice is a must.”

Here’s a summary of the latest data as reported by the REC:

  1. The return to “normal” business has improved confidence in the jobs market and thus improved demand for staff. Perm staff billings improved at a rate that hasn’t been replicated since 1997, whilst temp billings grew at the highest rate for nearly 23 years.

  1. Overall vacancy growth reached record figures. The growth in the demand for perm staff, for example, rose to the highest figures in 24 years, and temp vacancies expanded at a rate that hasn’t been seen since 1997.

3. Whilst open vacancies grew at record levels, the number of available candidates for work dropped at record levels. The UK’s workforce was shown to be in short supply of both permanent and temporary staff. Recruiters have argued that several factors have contributed to this drop in availability, not just the improved demand for workers. Brexit, pandemic-related uncertainty, and furlough have all been influences on the availability of candidates.

4. The demand for workers combined with the lack of available candidates has contributed to swift increases in starting salaries and temp pay. Perm starting salaries rose at the quickest rate since 2014, temp hourly pay rose at the quickest rate since 2004.

5. The steepest increase in demand for workers was within the perm private sector, followed by temp private sector workers. The IT & Computing industry led a demand for perm staff in June, just ahead of Hotel & Catering and Engineering industries. Furthermore, Blue Collar was the most in-demand sector for temp workers – meanwhile, the slowest growth was for Executive/Professional positions.

While the demand for workers remains so high, and the availability of candidates ready to work is still dangerously low, it is time for businesses to work with the government to run skills programmes for those currently furloughed and prospective workers. Up-skilling is one way to speed up the recovery of the UK’s economy after the pandemic; by closing the skills gap in the workforce we can place more people in work than ever before.

If you are looking for temporary or permanent staffing solutions, we’re here to help. Contact us today to find out more about our services and leave your staffing headaches behind for good.

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