Information reaching Giraffeglobal says that Massive Vacancies Hit UK Companies, Lament Shortage Of Workers
Firms in the United Kingdom are facing difficulties to recruit staff, according to new research by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC)
The data for the leading business group’s Quarterly Recruitment Outlook survey for Q1 2022 was drawn from a survey of 5,500 businesses.
According to the report which was quoted by Cumbria Times, attempted recruitment in the first quarter was down slightly with 60% looking to recruit staff (64% in Q4 2021).
The hospitality sector was facing the most challenging recruitment issues, closely followed by construction and the manufacturing industry.
Retail and wholesale firms were the least likely to report difficulties but the proportions of firms that cannot find the staff they need remains worryingly high, the report said.
The firms surveyed highlighted issues responsible for the difficulty to include: disruption due to COVID and a drop in the availability of foreign staff. Others also complained of wage competition which they said is proving disruptive.
A medium-sized professional services firm in Shropshire noted, “We are finding it difficult to recruit all levels of staff. Applicants are able to choose between several employers as we are all chasing the same people. They feel we are on the edge of the Midlands but still expect Wolverhampton/Birmingham salaries.”
A micro hospitality firm in Scotland said: “We are prepared to pay more for the right people, but there just seems to be no one to employ. If we cannot get staff our service slips drastically because we don’t have enough people to serve our customers.”
Responding to the findings, Head of People Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, Jane Gratton said:
“It’s now harder than ever for businesses to fill job vacancies and there are no signs of improvement. In an increasingly tight labour market, competition for skills is ramping up wage costs, leaving many firms unable to recruit the people they need.
“When combined with the escalating price of energy, shipping, raw materials and other costs, it is a precarious situation for businesses. Inevitably, it is the smaller firms, with little in the way of cash reserves after two years of the pandemic, who are most exposed to the risk all this presents.
“The UK government needs to take concrete action to address labour shortages as they are a key factor in the economy’s stuttering recovery. If firms cannot get the people they need, then productivity and revenue are two of the first casualties.
“Government must also ensure that people can access rapid retraining opportunities for in-demand jobs at all skill levels in the workforce. At the same time, where there is clear evidence of national shortages damaging the economy, we need temporary visas for hard working people willing to come to the UK to work in the essential everyday roles that we all rely on.
“Businesses are investing more in developing homegrown talent – and creating a more inclusive and diverse workforce – but this won’t solve pervasive skills shortages overnight. Right now, the priority has to be to improve access to skills and ease the wider cost pressures facing the business.”