With shortages becoming a growing issue across the country, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) is calling on the government to take urgent action.
As many as 88% of recruiters say that labour shortages are one of their biggest worries for the rest of the year, with 65% saying skills shortages are a major concern.
The REC’s latest survey shows that recruiters have a significantly higher number of roles to fill than before the pandemic and 97% said that it was taking longer than usual to fill those vacancies.
Kate Shoesmith, Deputy CEO of the REC, said, “Worker shortages are a huge problem for employers and their recruitment partners, across all industries and regions. Vacancy numbers are far higher than pre-pandemic, and it is taking much longer to fill them. This is putting the recovery at risk by putting capacity constraints on the economy, as last week’s GDP figures showed. In our survey, recruiters also highlighted a wide range of factors that have combined to cause these shortages – this is a complex problem with no one easy fix.”
Shoesmith added, “As such, we will only solve these shortages through a collaborative approach. We’re glad that multiple government departments are coming together in a joint forum to tackle the issue, but to be effective it must also include business and industry experts. Government must allow more flexibility in the immigration system so firms can hire essential workers like drivers from abroad, and also improve training opportunities for lower-paid and temporary workers. Meanwhile companies need to focus on how they will attract and retain staff through improved conditions and facilities, not just pay.”
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