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Demand for professional talent up 25% as CFOs add risk to the balance sheet

Strong growth across all professional sectors with engineering surging ahead

Underpinning this headline figure, the latest data from APSCo indicates that hiring increases are consistent across all the core professional sectors the trade association represents, including engineering, IT, accounting & finance, social work and media & marketing. While the engineering sector has demonstrated systematic growth for a number of months now, the most recent figures suggest that the sector is surging ahead further still, with vacancies up a staggering 47% year-on-year. While not as a marked, significant growth has also been seen in the IT and media & marketing sectors (up 24% and 18% respectively).

This boost in hiring activity across a diverse range of sectors echoes recent data from ONS, highlighting that London is moving away from its reliance on the finance and insurance sector into other professional areas. As ONS figures show, the capital’s most prolific job generator is now the professional, scientific and technical sector, which has added 110,000 employees in the past four years. It is also in keeping with new research by Deloitte, which indicates CFOs believe that now is a good time to add more risk to the balance sheet.

Salary data shows significant year-on-year shift with sector fluctuations evidence of talent shortages

APSCo’s figures also reveal that median salaries across all professional sectors were up by a robust 3.9% on the same month in 2013, a much healthier figure than last month’s shift of 1.3%. This overall growth is characterised by notable fluctuations in terms of sector, with engineering recording a 12.2% uplift in salaries on the same month in 2013, and IT, sales and finance salaries up 2.7%, 1.4% and 1.3% respectively. This echoes a recent survey which shows engineering graduates receive among the best starting salaries and underlines the huge demand for talent in this area, where business expansion plans are in jeopardy in the face of the growing skills crisis.

Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo comments:

“The latest GDP predictions, coupled with news from Deloitte that CFOs are more confident than they have been in years to add risk to the balance sheet, mean that the next few months will continue to prove fruitful for professional job seekers and recruitment firms alike. Our data underlines that for individuals who possess the right skills, there is likely to be ample reward in terms of a great choice of roles together with a healthy hike in salary level. As far as employers are concerned, the only cloud on the horizon would be a candidate shortage, which could put any growth plans in jeopardy. Businesses therefore need to be prepared to invest in their talent attraction strategies, ensuring they position themselves firmly as an employer of choice. ”

John Nurthen, Executive Director of Global Research for Staffing Industry Analysts, which compiles the research for APSCo, comments:

“Most industries would be delighted to see 25% growth in their order books compared to the prior year. The UK staffing industry is now benefiting from pent-up demand following a long period of stagnation in the job market. With expectations that the economy should have a good run, at least up to the General Election in May 2015, employers may well find that the cost of recruiting and hiring professional and contract workers starts to lift.”

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