Public sector to face up to 7 more years of skills shortages

(2 minutes to read)

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s whitepaper has recommended key priorities for the public sector to work on in order to develop a ‘high-calibre and agile workforce’ by 2025.

The REC’s new whitepaper on the future of jobs shows that the public sector faces up to seven more years of skills shortages based on current demand.

‘Public Sector 2025’ states that in order to maintain the stability of public service delivery over the next decade, there needs to be an urgent evaluation of current recruitment procedures, as well as the impact of post-Brexit immigration models.

The whitepaper data shows:

  • 10,000 EU staff have left the NHS since the Brexit referendum.
  • 77% of recruitment specialists say that health and social care staffing shortages will increase significantly over the next five years.
  • Data from jobs site ‘Indeed’ said interest from job seekers in nursing roles only increased by four per cent compared to an 11% rise in the share of nursing roles posted. Interest in care roles decreased by eight per cent.
  • 47% of specialist recruiters in the education sector expect teacher shortages to increase significantly over the next five years.
  • The REC’s monthly Report on Jobs data shows demand for IT staff sought after by both public and private sector employers increasing month on month, with candidate availability steadily decreasing since May 2013.

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The four recommendations include:

  1. Prepare workforce plans for different Brexit scenarios and build a cadre of future public sector leaders who can navigate a fast-changing landscape.
  2. Embed flexible work across the public sector and harness external expertise to drive workforce innovation.
  3. Pre-empt the impact of AI and automation on skill needs and use technology to enhance recruitment supply chains.
  4. Lead the way on inclusive hiring and ‘good work’ in the public sector to ‘re-brand’ jobs in the public sector and attract the next generation of workers.

Tom Hadley, the REC’s director of policy and professional services, said, “There has never been a more important time to review workforce trends and find solutions to current and future challenges. The public and private sector are increasingly fishing in the same limited talent pool, but there are real opportunities for public sector employers to compete by focusing on purpose and progression and by streamlining hiring processes, using new technology and really listening to candidate feedback.

“An immediate priority is evaluating the impact that post-Brexit immigration models could have on staffing in the public sector. Employers need to take urgent action to future proof hiring procedures and workforce management to deliver quality public services.”

To find out more about contracting please contact James on 01442 795 100 or email

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