Last updated: 14.10.14

New jobs report reveals skills shortages in more sectors

More and more organisations are being affected by skills shortages among their workforces, it has been claimed.

The latest Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs has shown that permanent and temporary staff placements continued to rise in September, albeit with the latter rising more quickly than the former.

However, there were also falls in the number of staff available for both permanent and temporary billings during the month, which helped pay continue to grow across the board.

“The increasing lack of candidates continues to be a worry as shortages spread across more industries,” explained REC chief executive Kevin Green.

“It’s not just engineers and IT specialists that recruiters are finding it hard to source - blue collar roles like bricklayers, drivers and electricians are getting harder and harder to fill too.”

Concerns over skills shortages are nothing new. In January, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills’ (UKCES) Employer Skills Survey revealed that the number of skills shortage vacancies - where firms are unable to find candidates with the skills they need - almost doubled between March and July 2013.

Last year, a survey by recruitment firm Page Group also found that one-third of professionals are worried that their employers are not taking on enough staff with specialist skills.

Nearly four in ten respondents said shortages of specialist skills is making it harder for existing staff within their companies to meet the demands of customers, with 51 per cent feeling that they now have a more general skill set compared with when they were originally hired as specialists due to the need to take on other responsibilities.

Focusing on training staff and making the best possible use of their specialist skills could be the way forward for businesses struggling to recruit the talent they need.

“Businesses need to start thinking about planning their talent pipeline now - not waiting until they are unable to fulfil contracts because of a lack of skilled staff,” Douglas McCormick, a commissioner at the UKCES, said upon the release of the organisation’s findings.