Almost half of UK employers (48 per cent) expect to face a shortage of suitable candidates to fill permanent jobs in 2017, according to this month’s JobsOutlook survey by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC).
For the last six months employers have consistently cited engineering and technical jobs as most likely to come up against a skills shortage. The latest report shows that health & social care and construction employers are also expecting to struggle to find people to fill vacancies.
With one in three (32 per cent) organisations reporting to have no spare workforce capacity, hiring in these sectors is likely to be under severe pressure in the New Year. A quarter of employers (24 per cent) expect to take on more permanent staff in the next three months.
The latest survey of 601 employers also reveals that business confidence is improving:
30 per cent feel that economic conditions are improving, up from 27 per cent in the previous rolling quarter.
38 per cent expect hiring and investment to improve, up from 33 per cent who said the same last month.
Despite these positive trends, business confidence remains significantly lower than before the EU referendum. In the three months to June almost half (48 per cent) employers surveyed reported that UK economic conditions were improving, 18 points higher than this month’s score.