More freedom for recruiters and development of work skills essential to continue employment growth
The current national employment rate figure of 73.1 per cent, which surpasses the pre-recession peak, is a key indicator that the economy is in the recovery stage. Bartlay, who is Managing Director of specialist staffing firm 2B Interface, explains that while the high employment rate is promising and a good sign that job opportunities are improving, the future success of the employment sector lies in tackling the high cost of employment and the lack of quality staff in sectors that need them.
Bartlay said: “UK companies are finally gaining the confidence to employ permanent staff, which is typically a big commitment for businesses – especially SMEs. With costly employment contracts, it can be an expensive process to find suitable staff, which sometimes causes ramifications and restrictions to growth in other areas of the business that may need funding, including service or supply. More freedom in the recruitment process to decrease costs and administration burdens would provide employers with less responsibility, helping to improve business performance and employment rates further.”
In light of the current employment boom, Bartlay suggested that whatever the state of the economy, companies will always need good quality staff, but in growth it’s always the ones with the most desirable skills in certain sectors that will be snapped up and kept for longer.
She explained: “In more difficult times, temporary staff solutions can be desirable as they keep the costs of employment down while gaining the level of service that they need to keep the business going. Many companies require temporary workers that have those key skills for the role, but want to avoid the costly permanent contracts. Temporary staff can keep long-term business expenditure down in turbulent business circumstances. In more stable economic times, companies will have more confidence to take on good quality people permanently, helping to drive the business forward, but with skills shortages they’re left with little choice.”
A recent report by the Institution of Engineering and Technology found that 44 per cent of employers said engineering, IT and technical recruits did not have the required level of skills for their roles, and six out of 10 engineering employers are concerned that this will threaten their business in the UK. Beatrice Bartlay is calling on companies to become more involved with skill training and apprenticeships to help candidates develop the desired skills for these job roles, to support future employment and economy strength.
“Skilled individuals are particularly scarce in engineering and manufacturing, and while employment is up, it could be a struggle for companies to find the right staff with the relevant skills for specific job roles, which could leave job vacancies unfilled,” Bartlay said.
Bartlay concluded, “The rise in the employment across the UK emphasises the need for those candidates seeking jobs to gain the skills required for the vacant positions, perhaps through vocational training or apprenticeships. Developing skills for specific job roles will enable employers to source staff that meet their specific requirements, preventing these valuable job roles from going to waste.”