Recovery boosts demand for professionals

Tim Wallace
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FINANCE and accounting vacancies shot up 15 per cent on the year in July and August as the recovery takes hold and boosts demand for professional workers, the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) said today.

The group found a 1.5 per cent monthly rise in demand for marketing, engineering and IT workers over the summer, defying the usual seasonal lull.

Accounting and finance vacancies have seen a rise of three per cent in each of the last three months.

But the UK’s pool of talent cannot keep up with such demand, with recruiter Randstad estimating the country faces a shortfall of more than 10,000 accountants by 2050, in part caused by a restrictive immigration regime.

“The recent positive economic data – coupled with marked fall in unemployment is adding fuel to the growing skills shortages employers are experiencing. While this skills gap was suppressed early in the recession, it is now coming home to roost in the professional sector,” said APSCo chief Ann Swain. “The skills shortages have always been there but as the recovery gains pace and employers have more confidence to hire, we could be facing a real problem.”

The group also fears the 1.3m UK graduates living abroad will make the shortage worse.