UK job market: ‘Feel-Good Factor’ at risk because of expected candidate shortage
According to a report by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), over half of employers foresee a shortage of candidates to fill permanent jobs and 63 % of employers with more than 250 staff expect an impending shortage of talent.
One in five employers are planning to take on more permanent staff in the medium term (four to twelve months), only 1% plan to decrease their headcount.
Employers expect the shortage of candidates to be particularly noticeable in the technology, engineering, health and social care, and construction sectors.
The REC’s latest JobsOutlook survey of 600 employers also revealed that:
– 59 % of employers have increased their headcount in the last year.
– 34 % believe that UK economic conditions are improving, but 29% believe they are worsening.
– 78% of employers are operating with ‘none’ or ‘a little’ spare capacity, and would need to take on staff to meet an increase in demand.
REC chief executive Kevin Green says:
“There’s a feel-good factor about the UK jobs market. The official figures show record levels of employment, and our data indicates that this could rise even higher in the coming months.
“The candidate shortage is an ongoing dilemma. This is not a new problem, but the fall-out from Brexit has created fresh challenges. We’re already hearing that EU workers are leaving the UK or turning down opportunities to work here. In sectors such as healthcare, construction and hospitality, where the reliance upon EU nationals is especially high, employers are worried.
“The government’s U-turn on the Budget reveals a failure to appreciate the consequences of policy. Their approach to immigration must show more clarity. Safeguarding the status of EU workers in the UK in the upcoming Brexit negotiations would help to allay anxieties amongst employers.”