Skills shortage in construction or property to push up wages by as much as 10pc, says Hays

Chris Papadopoullos
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“There is a huge skills shortage across construction and property” (Source: Getty)
Recruitment giant Hays said yesterday that skill shortages were pushing up some white collar salaries as much as 10 per cent, despite sluggish wage growth across the economy as a whole.

A booming jobs market has resulted in the firm placing 20 per cent more staff in its latest quarter than in the same period a year earlier.

Rival Robert Walters said earlier in the week that pay in financial services was booming, but yesterday Hays boss Paul Venables singled out other sectors.

“From 2007 to 2012 none of the major construction or property firms was hiring graduates,” Venables said.

“There was no investment in graduates or training. As a result, fewer people went into architecture, construction, etc.

“There is a huge skills shortage across construction and property with pay currently rising at five to 10 per cent annually.”

Hays posted an underlying 13 per cent rise in first-quarter net fees for the UK and Ireland, an acceleration on the 11 per cent it recorded in the full-year ending 30 June.

The recruiter, which operates in 33 countries, said major special­ism sectors like accountancy and finance, construction and property, and IT all grew by more than 15 per cent.

Hays posted an underlying nine per cent rise in first-quarter group net fees worldwide, boosted by strong demand in its three biggest markets: Australia, UK and Ireland, and Germany. The number reflects an acceleration on the five per cent it recorded in the full year and seven per cent in the last quarter.

“This is a good start to the year. I see no reason why at the moment we won’t continue at that sort of level. We had a good year last year, I think we will have a better year this year,” said Venables.

Total net fees for permanent placements grew by 12 per cent in the first quarter, on a like-for-like basis, while temporary placements grew by seven per cent.

Hays said it expected currency translations to reduce operating profit for the year ahead by around £7m.

Shares closed up 2.25 per cent.

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