Responding to the latest labour market data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Tania Bowers, Global Public Policy Director at the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), said, “The decline in vacancies once again is no surprise, but I would warn employers and recruiters not to be complacent.
"When we look at the details in the latest ONS labour market update it’s clear that the UK is still reporting higher vacancies than it did pre-pandemic.
"With the latest statistics also including the data from August, when we expect a seasonal lull in hiring, these figures don’t suggest that the labour crisis is over.
"Indeed, what I find perhaps more concerning is the increase in jobs noted since January to March 2020 in skill-short sectors such as manufacturing and education, which reported 38.7% and 33.1% growth respectively.
“The country is still in the midst of a worrying dearth of key resources, with many employers struggling to find the talent they need through domestic hiring, and international resources difficult to recruit post-Brexit.
"As the Autumn Statement nears and the major political parties gear up for next year’s election, skills need to be the focus for policymakers.
"As we’ve highlighted in the past, there’s a range of tactics that can strengthen the country’s labour market, from prioritising funding for a wider overarching targeted skills plan to reforming the Apprenticeship Levy and reviewing business visa and visitor routes.
“Now, more than ever, the Government and shadow ministers need to demonstrate not only that skills are at the top of their agenda, but perhaps more importantly, that they have a plan to implement effective changes, quickly.”
Matt Dickens, Director at Astute Technical Recruitment added, "While the broader picture suggests a decline in vacancies, we've seen continued demand from businesses across the Nuclear, Power and Renewable Energy sectors struggling to source candidates directly.
"At Astute we've also noticed sustained demand for experienced contractors, notably across our Power and Nuclear sectors, but increasingly the Renewable Energy space too.
"With contractors adept at parachuting into businesses at short notice and able to ensure project timeframes are kept on track, I expect to see further requirements for interim talent solutions across the energy sector as we head towards 2024."
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