Jobs Boom at Risk from Growing Skills Shortages

Employers are twice as confident in the economy now than they were this time last year; with many intending to take on more staff in the next few months. However, this confidence and increase in jobs could cause a shortage of skills.

A third of employers surveyed in June predicted a shortage of engineers to fill permanent (32%) and temporary (34%) technical and engineering jobs. When looking at the three month rolling average of 600 employers’ responses, the figures remain high, with a fifth of employers (22%) predicting difficulties in recruiting permanent candidates in the sector, and a quarter of employers (26%) predict the same problem within temporary roles.

The reasons employers are taking on temporary staff are changing too as the recovery progresses. Nearly two thirds of businesses across all sectors (64%) say they use agency workers because temporary staff provide short term access to key strategic skills. 61% stated they used temporary staff to cover leave, 49% said it was to respond to growth and 30% said it was to keep running costs down.

The survey also found that:

  • 87% of employers are planning to increase their intake of permanent staff in the next three months
  • 78% plan to take on more permanent staff in the next 4-12 months
  • 47% intend to increase their use of agency staff in the next quarter
  • 42% plan to increase their use of agency staff in the next 4-12 months

These figures mean that employers are going to have to work harder to attract the candidates they want as the labour market booms and competition for talent increases. Skilled individuals are in short supply within the technology, engineering, construction and HGV driving industries. This has already had an impact on companies who are increasing pay to encourage people to leave their current role and bring their skills to a new company. But it isn’t only pay that is helping to attract talent; flexible working hours, better benefits packages and nicer work environments are all being brought in to find and secure candidates.

Explore more from our blog here...