Region’s rising skills gap ‘could drive up wages’

Manpower has reported growing signs in the eastern region of skills shortaged affectiing recruitment

Manpower has reported growing signs in the eastern region of skills shortaged affectiing recruitment plans.

Rising skills shortages could drive up pay as employers in the east prepare to take on new workers in their droves this summer, workforce experts Manpower predicts.

Although the region’s employers show a net desire to hire, a shortage of candidates could hold them back, according to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey which revealed an Employment Outlook of +7% in the East of England.

The survey of 2,100 UK employers shows the 13th consecutive period of optimism among employer for the next quarter, although hiring intentions slipped one point on the previous period.

The study, which asks whether employers intend to hire additional workers or reduce the size of their workforce in the coming quarter, is the most comprehensive employment survey of its kind and is used as a key economic statistic by both the Bank of England and the UK government.

Krissie Davies, operations director at Manpower UK, said the region continued to be “very confident” when it comes to hiring, with an outlook above the national average.

“However, while employers are continuing to look at creating new roles, they are finding it increasingly hard to find candidates in the region to fill them,” she said.

“This is particularly so in Cambridge, where we’re seeing skills shortages across the board, while in Peterborough, candidates experienced in sales, call centre and IT roles are in the shortest supply and the highest demand.”

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While employers might be challenged to find the staff they need, candidates may find the picture more positive, she said.

“This market enables those looking for roles to negotiate on salary and other benefits, so we may start to see some uplift in pay in the region.

“Where there are talent shortages, those looking to move into a new career may find the leap easier if they can demonstrate to their prospective employer that they have transferable skills that will help them get up the curve quickly.”

Going into the third quarter of 2015, the national Seasonally Adjusted Net Employment Outlook remains at +6% for the fourth successive quarter.

Manpower warned while its research shows demand for staff remains strong, and employment stands at a 40-year record high, a shortage of candidates means many employers are struggling to fill the vacancies, jeopardising the Government’s target to create 2million jobs in five years.