Employers concerned by lack of skilled candidates

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The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) has released its latest JobsOutlook survey, which shows that construction employers are more concerned about a lack of appropriate candidates than any other sector.

The report also shows that employer confidence in the economy has fallen into negative territory.

REC chief executive Kevin Green commented: “Businesses are continuing to hire to meet demand, but issues like access to labour, Brexit negotiations and political uncertainty are creating nervousness. Employers in the construction sector are especially concerned as they rely heavily on EU workers to meet the growing demand for housing and to support the government’s infrastructure plans.”

The comment references a previous report that showed that EU nationals make up eight per cent of the construction workforce, and some 33% of the construction workforce in London.

The research suggests that employer confidence in the UK economy has moved into negative territory, with the net balance falling from +six per cent last month to -three per cent in the latest report, as 31% of employers now expect the economy to worsen and just 28% expect it to improve.

The latest JobsOutlook survey of 601 employers also shows:

  • 40% of employers have no spare capacity and would need to recruit to meet additional demand
  • more employers express concerns about a lack of appropriate candidates for construction jobs (both temporary and permanent) than any other area.

REC chief executive Kevin Green says: “The jobs market continues to do well despite growing uncertainty. However, this drop in employer confidence should raise a red flag.

“Businesses are continuing to hire to meet demand, but issues like access to labour, Brexit negotiations and political uncertainty are creating nervousness. Employers in the construction sector are especially concerned as they rely heavily on EU workers to meet the growing demand for housing and to support the government’s infrastructure plans.

“The added factor of dropping consumer confidence is putting some businesses on edge. If people reduce their spending, businesses will be impacted.

“The government must do more to create an environment where businesses have clarity. That means clearly laying out what Brexit plans look like and how employers can keep recruiting the people they need from the EU. The jobs market is in a good place but employers will only continue to hire and invest if they feel assured about the future.”

 

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