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Employers are struggling to recruit science & tech talent

Three out of four employers are actively hiring for science and technology roles but are struggling to find the talent they need, despite the increasing number of job seekers.


That was the key finding of new research by global recruiter SThree, which specialises in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) sector.


While the number of British people facing redundancy and unemployment has ballooned due to the pandemic, resulting in thousands considering a career switch, the chronic shortage of specialist tech workers continues. Among employers surveyed, 70% said finding the right talent remained a challenge, with cybersecurity skills considered the most difficult skillset to hire for.


However, employers may be doing themselves a disservice by not being open-minded enough. More than half of specialist recruiters said hiring managers in STEM industries were unwilling to consider a larger pool of candidates – for example, people from different locations or backgrounds – limiting available talent for interview.


The survey drew on responses from more than 1,000 international STEM leaders and niche recruitment experts, as well as SThree internal data.


IT accounts for 30% of vacancies

The study coincides with new industry data highlighting that London saw a substantial increase in white collar job vacancies in September, underpinned by high demand for IT professionals.


IT accounted for more than 30% of all vacancies in the capital in September, reflecting ongoing digital transformation projects and support for remote working, according to new research from APSCo based on Vacancysoft data.


Amazon regained its crown as the leading employer hiring in London, having been knocked off the top spot last month by EY.


Overall, the average number of daily professional vacancies for the month totalled 431, up from 386 in August and 194 at the height of the pandemic in April. In a normal market this figure would range between 500 and 600, suggesting that London’s hiring was creeping towards normal levels shortly before the tier two lockdown was introduced.


Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo said: “The continued demand for IT professionals indicates that the capital’s businesses are adapting to the new normal and digitising operations to survive the ongoing challenges.”

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