The recent GDP figures – which have shown rises of 0.3% and just last week 0.6% – have fuelled the beginnings of a real recovery in the professional jobs market. The latest data from The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) reveals an upturn in both permanent and temporary vacancies & placements with some notable sector hotspots.
- Construction and engineering – major vacancy upsurge
- Marketing sector – digital talent shortage could be due to ageism
Construction & Engineering Sectors paint a positive picture
According to the online recruitment data within the report, there was a 59% increase in property and construction permanent job vacancies advertised during June across the UK and a 69% increase in contract vacancies. These tie in with a recent RICS survey which reported new construction projects in almost every part of the country and a net balance of 21% more surveyors reporting increases in workloads – the most positive reading in six years. The engineering sector, fuelled by the increase in energy projects is continuing to perform strongly with online recruitment data showing a 17% month on month increase in permanent roles and a 22% increase in contract roles.
Ann Swain Chief Executive of APSCo comments:
“It is encouraging to see such an upswing in a sector that has suffered so much in the last few years. The RICS survey which also points to a rise in respondents predicting an increase in workload is patently translating into organisations ramping up their hiring activity in preparation for what looks like the beginnings of a recovery. The ongoing resilience of the engineering sector is obviously being driven by the huge increase in activity in the upstream oil and gas arena but as this is a global industry, the UK does have to compete heavily for talent with other locations – all of which need the same skill sets.”
Marketing sector – digital natives in short supply – youth valued over experience?
There is still a huge disconnect between placements and vacancies with APSCo members reporting a 21% decrease in placements compared to last year but a similar level of vacancies. While some of this is being mopped up by the use of temporary and contract staff, it does look as if talent shortages are at a critical level. This could be partly explained by the fact that many organisations are putting more emphasis on their digital strategies. According to Simon Bassett, Managing Director of APSCo member EMR, specialists in the digital space, particularly in the areas of e-commerce and CRM are in increasingly high demand as organisations invest in digital strategies to drive business growth. However – this increasing drive to digital could be leading to a situation where the industry is progressively overlooking the value that genuine experience can provide.
Simon Bassett, Managing Director of EMR Comments:
“As marketing activities move increasingly into a digital space, there is a misplaced belief that younger people are better placed to use the new tools on offer – but that’s simply not an accurate picture. “It appears that such rapid changes in technology have resulted in companies opting for the perceived dynamism of youth over the genuine benefits of experience using traditional marketing channels. But in many cases, older professionals are the ones who work hardest to maximise the potential of technological innovations, using their knowledge and experience to greater effect than younger professionals. After all, technology is only another tool in building a brand, communicating messages and increasing engagement – it doesn’t require companies to throw everything they know about traditional marketing channels out the window.”