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Demand for highly skilled professional workers faring better than rest of UK labour market

Demand for highly skilled professional workers faring better than rest of UK labour market
Permanent vacancies for highly skilled professional workers up 7%
Permanent vacancies for all workers up 4%
London jobs market underperforming
Demand for highly skilled professional workers is significantly stronger than demand for workers across the UK labour market as a whole, according to new research commissioned by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).
Research compiled by Innovantage, the UKs leading provider of real-time labour market intelligence, reveals that permanent vacancies for highly skilled professional workers increased by 7% year-on-year in April almost twice the rate of increase for all permanent vacancies across the entire labour market, which grew by 4%.
213,316 permanent jobs for highly skilled professional workers were advertised on job boards in April 11, compared to 0,056 in April 10.
The research is based on an analysis of jobs advertised on job boards. The definition of highly skilled professional included in the analysis excludes public sector workers in the medical and education sectors, such as doctors and teachers. Innovantages unique software is able to track every unique job advertised on a UK job board, while stripping out any duplicates.
According to APSCo, the research shows that despite sluggish economic growth, highly skilled candidates with professional qualifications are faring much better in the labour market than candidates with lower value skills.
Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo, comments: While the number of highly skilled professional-level permanent jobs being advertised is up 7% compared to last April, the jobs market as whole is considerably more sluggish.
There is always a shortage of talent even during a period of sluggish growth. In many highly skilled sectors of the economy, such as IT, it is incredibly hard to source certain skills from within the UK. Recruiters are reporting that it can take up to six months to fill a vacancy for an in-demand IT skill.
John Nurthen of Staffing Industry Analysts comments: The UK is increasingly becoming a highly skilled economy - low value, low skilled jobs are under constant attack from lower cost overseas competitors.
Commentators have been talking about a two-speed recovery. These figures seem to underline just how divergent demand for skills is across the economy. Some sectors such as legal are still struggling while engineering and manufacturing jobs are up 14% on the back of export-led growth.
Despite the increase in vacancies for permanent staff, the overall number of professional jobs advertised (including temporary and contract) declined 5% year-on-year in April, from 281,629 in April 11 to 295,629 in April 10. That includes permanent jobs, contract jobs and temporary jobs. The number of vacancies (permanent, temporary and contract) for all jobs, however, declined by 8% over the same period of time.
APSCo says that the decline in advertised vacancies year-on-year reflects the highly unusual concentration of public holidays this April which, combined with many staff taking annual leave, resulted in a contraction of the jobs market.
Demand for permanent staff rising as demand for temporary workers falls
Demand for permanent staff is increasing while the number of vacancies for temporary workers is falling.
The number of vacancies for highly skilled professional permanent staff was 7% higher in April 11 compared to April 10. Demand for permanent staff was 4% higher in the overall economy.
Demand for temporary workers, however, declined by 3% in highly skilled professional sectors and by 11% for all job types.
Vacancies for contractors (either limited company or umbrella) rose by 2% in in highly skilled professional sectors and 1% in all other sectors.
14% increase in engineering and manufacturing jobs
13% decline in legal jobs
The research by Innovantage shows that - despite the 5% decline in the number of highly skilled vacancies overall - demand for skills in the manufacturing and engineering sectors jumped 14% compared to April 10. 30,833 engineering/manufacturing jobs were advertised in April 11, compared to 27,016 in April 10.
The West Midlands saw a 65% increase in engineering/manufacturing jobs, while Scotland saw a 55% increase.
In the IT/Telecoms sector, the number of advertised vacancies declined by 1% overall - from 77,187 to 76,533 - though some areas of the country saw a significant increase in jobs Scotland (28%), Wales (22%), East Anglia (13%), South East (11%), West Midlands (6%) and the South West (1%).
Of all professional sectors, the legal profession did particularly badly, seeing a 13% drop in vacancies year-on-year, from 10,371 (April 10) to 8,986 (April 11).
London jobs market underperforming
Double digit jobs growth in Scotland
The jobs market in London is performing poorly compared to regions such as Scotland and the West Midlands, for example.
The number of advertised vacancies in London for highly skilled professional workers declined 4% in London, from 98,734 to 94,740. In Scotland, demand for highly skilled workers jumped by 13% (from 13,903 to 15,694) in the West Midlands by 10% (from 15,089 to 16,591).


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