Candidate Availability At 16 Month Low

Candidate Availability At 16 Month Low

17 May 2017

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For decades, the job market has been an ever-changing problem within the United Kingdom, with peaks and troughs of job and candidate availability forever changing on a bi-monthly basis. With the market going in to “freefall” earlier this year as part of the Brexit fallout, recruiters reported it was the sharpest drop in permanent job placement since 2009.

Now, almost a year later the UK market is undergoing its largest drop in both permanent and temporary candidate availability for in 16 months, as shown in the latest report by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) carried out by Markit.

In a slightly problematic twist, the demand for employees continue to grow, with appeal for nursing and medical or care staff at the top of the list of temporary work, followed closely by hotel and catering.

Engineering was the most in-demand category for permanent staff during April. Low availability of candidates has led to increases in salaries for permanent staff and higher temporary/contract pay rates.

Despite still being 2 years away from any official Brexit actions, UK employers are already complaining of a shortage of suitable job applicants for a wide range of roles. The REC report shows that employers with greater than 250 staff are anxious about the lack of talent available, with 63% expecting a shortage. 

While 22% of employers’ plan to take on more permanent staff in the next 4 - 12 months, only 1% are planning to decrease their workforce. In fact, it was reported that the reputation of some industries, such as engineering, are at risk because employers are failing to find the skills that they need.

REC chief executive Kevin Green said: “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.”

Green went on to discuss the upcoming general election on the June 8, explaining that whatever party wins, they must, “address the ever-shrinking pool of suitable candidates by investing in skills and career advice for UK jobseekers, as well as safeguarding access to the workers we need from abroad.”

This follows the Prime Minister’s assertions earlier this week she will again pledge to cut net migration to the "tens of thousands" as part of the Conservative general election manifesto.

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Written By Alex Hunt

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