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UK job vacancies up 20% in Q3, compounding the skills shortage

In London and the South East the number of vacancies was up 15% while steady growth of 7% was seen in the North West. 

The figures, taken from the Robert Walters UK Jobs Index2, show that marketing professionals saw the highest growth in demand for their skills with vacancies up 59% nationwide. Secretarial vacancies also grew by 41% as businesses look to recruit additional staff to support business growth.

Legal professionals are also in high demand with vacancies up 48% across the UK, spurred in particular by pressure to comply with new regulations in the financial services sector. 

The North West leads job growth in several areas including marketing, secretarial and support and treasury vacancies while London saw the biggest rise in demand for HR, legal and logistics professionals. 

Chris Hickey, Robert Walters, CEO – UK, Middle East and Africa, comments:

“The latest jobs figures for the UK are extremely encouraging for professionals, showing that their skills are in high demand across almost all disciplines. The challenge now faces employers to source sufficient candidates to allow their businesses to expand, with several disciplines suffering particularly acute skills shortages.” 

“To successfully expand, employers may have to revise their hiring practices, considering candidates from previously untapped talent pools.” 

“Expanding or reopening graduate schemes can help secure a long term supply of talent, while broadening hiring criteria to consider candidates from a range of backgrounds with transferable skills can address more immediate skills shortages. Employers struggling to source candidates who require a particularly specific skill set, often due to industry regulations, may want to consider recruiting professionals from overseas as a solution.”

“The biggest surge we have seen is in demand for marketing professionals, with vacancies up 59%. With the UK enjoying a period of growth, firms are looking to win new business both at home and abroad, triggering this demand for marketing staff.”

“The increasing demand for secretarial and support professionals is another encouraging sign, indicating that employers are looking to expand their teams to tackle a growing workload as business improves.”

Chris Poole, Robert Walters, Managing Director - UK Regions, commented on the UK’s regional growth:

“The North West has continued to show itself to be playing a prominent business role in the UK, outstripping the Capital in terms of growth in several sectors. Growth in demand for marketing, secretarial and support, and treasury professionals were all highest in the North West.”

“Employers are looking to take advantage of the favourable market conditions as an opportunity to expand and the region is able to attract candidates from London and the South East who are looking for a better work life balance, as well as having a significant talent pool of its own. The figures show that the traditional image of the North West as a largely industrial region is evolving, with demand for professionals across a range of disciplines continuing to grow.”

“It is evident that the North West is becoming a destination for many companies looking to take advantage of the highly educated regional workforce while avoiding the high overhead costs associated with the London area.”


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