Demand for UK workers sends wages higher

THE RAPID drop in UK unemployment is exacerbating the UK’s skills shortage, according to a report released today, with staff availability to fill vacancies plummeting at the fastest rate in more than a decade.

The latest report on jobs from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG shows that availability for new permanent positions is falling at the fastest rate in 10 years, and dropping at a 14-year record pace for temporary jobs.

As a result, pay packets appear to finally be climbing – advertised wages for permanent positions are accelerating at the fastest rate since the middle of 2007.

“This dearth of skilled workers means that many organisations will need to improve their candidate experience and also look overseas to find people. The government must do more to support businesses by ensuring that the visa process does not act as a barrier to growth,” said REC chief exec Kevin Green.

Through the recent recovery, several sectors have reported a growing shortage of skilled workers, and the squeeze seems to particularly be affecting construction companies. A survey from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales revealed earlier this week that the difficulty in finding managers was rising most quickly among building firms.

REC and KPMG say that the midlands and the north saw the largest rise in the number of job adverts placed during the month, suggesting that the labour market recovery is not simply a story for London and the south east of England.

The report released today lists engineering and construction firms as those with the highest demand for permanent staff – workers in nursing, medicine, accounting and finance were also among those most desired by employers last month.