More jobs available but skills shortages mean many left unfilled

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 12:55 -- nick

The number of job vacancies is rising at its fastest rate for 16 years according to a new report.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs – published today – shows that demand for staff is rising at its fastest rate since 1998, suggesting better times are ahead for unemployed people.

Growth was shown in both public and private sectors, leading some to question whether the government is pausing its austerity drive in the run up to the 2015 election.

Pay also saw a rise, suggesting that the Office for National Statistics should start showing an improvement across the board soon even as its last official measure actually saw wages fall across the last year by 0.2%.

The report's authors were cautious, citing a slowing in the number of jobs being filled as evidence of further problems.

Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG, said:

“Just when it seemed the UK’s economy had definitely turned a corner, a couple of warning shots have been fired across the bows of British business to suggest that everything is not quite ‘ship shape’.  Jobs are still being offered, and are still sought after, but today’s figures show that permanent and temporary placements have eased in recent weeks."

KPMG released the findings of another study yesterday which showed that half of all businesses in London were experiencing skills shortages, a major issue holding back the UK's recovery.

Brown said:

“The problem is exacerbated by the fact that employers still cannot find staff with the right skill set."

UnemployedNet comment:

One of the most common complaints made to UnemployedNet is that workless people can't get funding for training even where there is an excellent chance of a job at the end of it.

The last Labour government was on to the right idea with its Individual Learning Accounts, but these were abused by unscrupulous training providers and then withdrawn.

Giving unemployed individuals a flexible fund helps them direct their own learning towards their own needs, and we believe that those experiencing worklessness are best placed to understand what skills are needed to help them back into work.

The existence of skills shortages is only likely to continue while inadequate and poorly-directed funding is in place to pay for it and those who need it most cannot access it.