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Next government to inherit looming jobs crisis


The next government will inherit a ‘looming jobs crisis’, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs has warned.

The monthly report found that April saw the strongest increase in permanent staff appointments in eight months, but that the availability of candidates for permanent roles continued to deteriorate.
The latest fall was the sharpest since last November, with around 41% of respondents reporting lower availability versus 9% noting an improvement.
The report also found that growth in permanent staff salaries accelerated to a nine-month high in April. Approximately 37% reported higher salaries, compared with just 2% indicating a decline.
“We urge the new government, whatever its complexion, to start to tackle the UK’s looming jobs crisis,” said REC chief executive Kevin Green.
He added: “[This jobs boom] is good for jobseekers, because we continue to see starting salaries increase as employers compete for talent. However, we question how sustainable this jobs boom is as skill and talent shortages become rife. The availability of staff has been falling for two years, with 40% of recruiters saying that the situation is getting worse month on month.
“Our new government needs to get to grips with this crisis by improving vocational education, providing quality careers advice for all, and ensuring a sensible approach to immigration to help businesses find the skills they need to compete and win.”
The Report on Jobs also found that agencies’ short-term staff billings increased further in April, but the latest rise was the slowest in six months, showing moderation in demand for this sort of worker. Respondents nonetheless reported that temporary and contract staff skill shortages were evident for a range of occupations.
Private sector demand for staff continued to rise at a stronger pace than that for public sector workers in April. The fastest rate of growth overall was for private sector permanent employees.
Executive/professional was the most in-demand category for permanent staff, with accounting/financial in second place. The slowest growth was for hotel and catering workers.
Bernard Brown, partner and head of business services at KPMG, said: “There has been a resurgence of recruitment into Britain’s boardrooms, with businesses poaching top talent to drive their companies forward. This surge of executive hires is a strong indication of underlying business sentiment and their ambitions for the future.”
He added: “The declining pool of available labour continues to force pay up. With two in five recruiters in the UK reporting falling candidate availability, spiralling salary growth remains a concern as businesses bid against each other to secure skilled staff.”