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Majority of businesses ‘doubt full employment achievable within five years’

14:31 11 February 2016

Most businesses do not believe the Governments target of achieving full employment within five years, according to a new report.

Most businesses do not believe the Governments target of achieving full employment within five years, according to a new report.

Most businesses do not believe the Government’s target of achieving full employment within five years, according to a new report.

Research by jobs website totaljobs.com also found that almost half of jobseekers have become more selective about the posts they have taken up, which may be worsening the UK’s skills problem.

Employers are finding it harder to recruit talented staff, but two thirds of jobseekers believe it has become more difficult to find work, the study showed.

A survey of 100 employers and 4,000 people looking for work found that an average of six candidates are chasing every vacancy.

The UK’s unemployment rate has fallen to 5.1%, leading employers to say the jobs market is now candidate-led.

John Salt, group sales director at totaljobs, said: “The research reinforces the argument that the UK economy will struggle to maintain long-term sustainable growth if the mismatch between the supply of jobs and the existing jobseeker talent pool is not addressed.

“In an increasingly candidate-led market, there are a number of ways businesses can ensure that they are recruiting and employing the right talent.

“It’s never been more important to ensure that businesses retain a clear focus on employer brand positioning across multiple channels to attract the right talent.

“This should then be complemented by initiatives that speak directly to candidates as individuals, headlining what appeals to them most. This can include company culture, not just skills and experience, the type of working environment and a business’ approach to work-life balance.”

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “The Government’s long-term plan has seen the employment rate reach a record high, and we are determined to support more and more people to benefit from the country’s growing economy.

“We’ve set ourselves an ambitious goal on full employment and we’re determined to complete the job - by helping more people into the labour market so they can take advantage of record vacancies, working to halve the disability employment gap, and creating three million more apprenticeships by 2020.”

Tim Roache, GMB general secretary elect, said: “Full employment is not the only forecast that may not be achieved.

“There are serious doubts over George Osborne’s prediction that the UK economy will be 12% bigger in 2020 than it is now.

“Average earnings for full time workers in 2015 are now 13.6% down in real terms on the level in 2008 before the recession.

“Workers will want to see any growth translating into pay rises above inflation to make up the lost ground.”

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