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Employers want to hire, but workers want more

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Employers advised to revisit their skills requirements and train people on the job

The UK labour market is looking buoyant with the Net Employment Outlook rising to +21%. The latest number is up two 2% since last quarter but down 10% on Q2 2022. This is according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey.

With record low unemployment and a historically tight labour market, employers are still struggling to attract skilled talent. In response, workers can’t find employers that fit their pay and skills needs. ManpowerGroup suggests that employers revisit their essential skills requirements and consider what can be learned on the job.

In the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, 2,020 UK employers were questioned about whether they intend to hire additional workers, maintain their current headcount, or reduce the size of their workforce in the next quarter (April to June 2023). The survey is a key economic indicator by the Bank of England and the UK Government.

The report revealed that employers across all sectors are planning to increase headcount. The IT sector tops the list, with a Net Employment Outlook of +48%, an increase of 14% from last quarter and 8% up on Q2 2022. The figures for the IT industry are more than twice the national average Net Employment Outlook.

Next on the list are:

  • Communication Services (+36%)
  • Transport, Logistics, and Automotive (+27%)
  • Financials & Real Estate (+27%)

Regionally, East Midlands is in the lead with a Net Employment Outlook of +29%, up 23% from last quarter, followed by the South West (+26%) and London (+24%).

Chris Gray, Director at ManpowerGroup UK, commented: “Our survey continues to show strong hiring intentions despite the economic climate, but hiring intentions are not translating into filled vacancies.”

 “There is a mismatch between what workers want and what employers are offering. Employers across the country are still keen to take on new talent, and workers want to take on higher paying roles with greater development opportunities. However, they aren’t seeing these jobs advertised. Job descriptions are going unread because they aren’t offering the skills growth workers want. Employers need to be clear about the progression opportunities and the training they are providing.”

“In a time of economic uncertainty and a cost-of-living crisis, we’re seeing that existing employees are reticent to move to new jobs and would rather take on more over-time or a second or third job to make ends meet and continue to develop. We have to be looking to bring those inactive back into the workplace and this requires structural changes to make this a realistic option. Government has an opportunity in this week’s Budget to help make this happen – an improved childcare offer and support for over 50s and long term sick could make a real difference.”

“Demand for highly-skilled tech talent continues to grow and we see this across all sectors. This growth is positive for workers, as businesses continue to deliver today while transforming for the workplace of tomorrow. This growth has a knock-on effect as new and different roles emerge, from project and change managers to newly skilled production workers. The opportunities are numerous as British industry works on future-proofing itself. To meet the demand, employers must re-evaluate what is essential and what is desirable in a candidate, and consider whether the role could be filled with a candidate who is 60 to 70 per cent fit for the role, and could be trained for the future.”

 “We are encouraged to see demand for workers the length and breadth of the UK – employers in all regions plan to expand headcounts. This is true especially of the East Midlands, which has seen hiring optimism surge since last quarter. Our insights tell us that a great deal of this demand stems from small and medium sized businesses which continue their optimistic streak in the region.”

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