Jobs gap closes – skills gap widens – rates set to rise. commsDealerlogo

So the stunning news about UK unemployment provided an apt close to 2013. Within just three months of Mark Carney’s forward guidance linking bank rate rises to unemployment, the gap to his trigger point has halved as unemployment fell from 7.8% to 7.4% over the last quarter.

With unemployment at its lowest point since 2009, this news was no surprise to the recruitment industry and I get the satisfaction again of saying, I told you so!

However, most employment gains have been at the lower end of the market, and in white collar professions there has been little change. The shortage of skilled workers in IT, manufacturing and of course telecoms, is a direct result of the lack of training and investment made in people over the long years of the recession.

It’s no accident that apprenticeship schemes have gained massively in popularity with employers over the last 12 months – good news for young people and those seeking retraining.

However, the skills gap is widening in the middle of most businesses. New recruits are being brought in for basic training and senior staffers are on hand to steward the business and impart some knowledge to the lower echelons. However the greatest number of unfilled telecoms vacancies are in the £25,000-£35,000 salary range, so where are the experienced people you need for despatch, billings, support, or the sales team?

Results from recruitment advertising have hit a 25 year low. 95% of applications seem to come from people so ill qualified for the role, that we can only suppose they are using failed job applications to justify their benefits claim.

So how are people solving their employment needs? I cannot answer this without being self-serving. The answer is simply to use recruitment agencies, as only we can draw the depth and breadth of candidates or vacancies to balance the equation.

It’s precisely because we recruit for a multitude of companies that job seekers are drawn to us, and their first call usually produce several good job options.

Equally, our clients benefit from the candidates drawn to other employers’ jobs, and then our expertise to spot a good cross match makes its impact. Sounds simple and it is, you just need to put in a hundred man hours in the middle to secure each placement!

Recruitment isn’t complicated, unless you make it so!


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