Jobs Outlook: Spotlight in Yorkshire

Monday, November 29, 2021

The worker shortage dominates the jobs outlook landscape as businesses across Yorkshire and the whole of the UK continue to find it difficult to recruit staff as candidate availability drops by one of the fasted rates on record in October.

High demand for staff, fewer foreign workers and a hesitancy amongst employees to seek out new roles or sectors can be attributed to the shortages.

With all this going on there is considerable pressure on the government to support and upskill jobseekers ensuring they have the relevant training, transferable skills and development opportunities to fill positions in high demand sectors.

The lack of candidates and increased demand for staff has seen wages across permanent and temporary positions have seen the sharpest rise since the survey began in 1997.


Staff availability

The supply of candidates looking for permanent positions continues to decline – nervousness amongst candidates to move roles is a major restraint on staff supply.

High staff demand and a limited pool of suitably skilled candidates available to fill temporary roles attributes to the fastest decline in temporary availability since April.


Demand for skills

In the most recent report on Jobs from KMPG and Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), the demand for workers was up across all sectors monitored.

Euan West Senior partner at KPMG in Leeds, said: “Many skills are in short supply, meaning there are not enough people with the right skills to fill the amount of vacancies. While this is clearly a problem in well-talked about sectors such as hospitality and retail, and with HGV drivers, this has become a widespread problem across many sectors, with companies struggling to find qualified staff.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the number of job vacancies in the UK reached a record high of 1.10 million between July and September an increase of 318,000 from before the pandemic.


Pay rates

The data shows a steep increase in pay rates for both permanent and temporary positions, the quickest rates seen in over 24 years.  The latest increase was the third sharpest on record and was only outpaced by figures seen in the last couple of months.

The pay pressures we are currently seeing are a direct consequence of the ongoing candidate shortages and we are seeing businesses prepared to offer salaries that are more competitive in order to attract the right level.

The ONS reports that the North of England has seen almost a 2% rise in average weekly earnings with the UK overall recording a 4.1% increase.


Stafflex perspective

There is no clear reason for the shortages but we believe it is a consequence of different reasons such as people leaving the UK due to Brexit as well as the pandemic causing huge disruption.

Also typically at this time of the year we do not see much movement as people tend to stick in their roles preferring stability over the Christmas and New Year period.

So what can we do to combat the situation? Employers must consider lowering their expectations when recruiting and then upskilling those new starters to the required skill level. They need to be prepared to reduce their profits in order to invest in the staff through training and development.

Also, think about taking mundane tasks away from the skilled workforce to allow them to do more of the high-level activities. Employers need to open dialogue with the education sector and tell them what skills they need to ensure courses are tailored to the real world requirements.


Would you like to speak to us?

If you would like to discuss any of the points or issues raised in this article, please contact our marketing manager, Nemi Alexis on 01484 351010 or at