Fall in jobseekers suggests skills shortages post-Brexit

Office workersThe number of people applying for both permanent and temporary jobs is at its lowest in 16 months according to the latest labour market figures from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation sparking fears that a post-Brexit skills shortage may have already started.

While all sectors saw some demand for permanent staff despite a slowdown, engineering was the most in-demand for skilled staff in April, closely followed by IT & computing and health & care including nursing.

Nursing, medical and care sectors saw the greatest demand for temporary/contract workers with hotels & catering coming second when it came to recruiting temporary staff.

REC Chief Executive Kevin Green said:

“Demand for staff is growing within all sectors and all regions of the UK, but there are fewer and fewer people available to fill the vacancies. We have the lowest unemployment rate since 2005, and people already in work are becoming more hesitant about moving jobs amid Brexit uncertainty. Meanwhile, the weakening pound and lack of clarity about future immigration rules is putting off some EU nationals from taking up roles in the UK.
“As a result, candidate availability is at a 16-month low and recruiters are flagging a shortage of suitable applicants for more than 60 different roles from cleaner to accountant. Every shortage has wider implications, for example the exceptional reputation UK engineering enjoys globally is at risk because employers can’t find people with the skills they need.”