Lack of capacity could hold back UK firms

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Ninety-four per cent of UK employers are operating with limited capacity to take on more work, according to the latest JobsOutlook survey by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC). With three quarters of employers (76 percent) signalling that economic conditions are improving, and almost half saying that confidence in hiring and investment decisions are ‘getting better’, businesses are actively looking to take on more staff.

Eight in ten businesses (80 percent) plan to hire permanent staff in the next three months, and three quarters (76 percent) intend to increase headcount in the medium term. The REC’s regular survey of 600 employers also found that more than two thirds (67 percent) of firms have either increased pay or headcount in the last year and 59 percent have made at least one temporary worker permanent.

Some employers also report in the survey that they expect to encounter a skills shortage over the next year. A lack of candidates is expected for permanent managerial roles, driving and distribution roles and blue collar roles.

 

“Employers are finding it extremely difficult to fill vacancies and need to find creative solutions to overcome staffing challenges. Pay is on the rise as businesses react to the need to keep hold of the staff they already have. In areas where permanent roles are particularly hard to fill, employers are turning to temporary workers in order to access key strategic skills,” commented Kevin Green, REC chief executive.

A shortage of agency workers is expected for technical and engineering roles, construction roles and driving and distribution roles.

“A reported shortage of people to fill driving and distribution roles is also concerning and could cause major problems as retailers and logistics firms seek to take on staff to meet increased demand over the Christmas period,” Green concluded.

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