Suffolk: Business battles against no shows and ‘lack of educated talent’

Mike Beech, Sales Director at Data Partnership in Holton St Mary, sits in the empty board room.

Mike Beech, Sales Director at Data Partnership in Holton St Mary, sits in the empty board room. - Credit: Archant

WITH unemployment standing at more than 200,000 in East Anglia, you would expect every job vacancy to be hotly contested.

But bosses at one expanding Suffolk business claim they have been plagued with candidates who simply fail to turn up.

Michael Beech, sales director of The Data Partnership – a marketing solutions firm – said they have seen an attendance rate of just 30% for two recent staff recruitment days.

Mr Beech said with several jobs available with packages of at least £30,000 each, and more opportunities in the coming months, he had been left “surprised” by the attitudes of some applicants.

He added: “If you consider you that there are 2.5million unemployed in the UK and about 200,000 of them are in East Anglia and if take into account the sort of package we’re offering for the locality we’re in – a catchment from Ipswich to Colchester – the results are surprising.”

Mr Beech said: “With one recruitment day we started off with 70 applicants and shortened down to 30 candidates. We had 12 confirmed for the day, but as the clock ticked we could see that there would be less coming through the door.

He added: “On the one hand we are looking for people who want to apply themselves, not just to the application, but the interview and the job.”

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The family company, which is based at Holton Business Park in Holton St Mary, says although it does not necessarily want people with a background in data marketing, they must have some commercial acumen.

Mr Beech added: “What we’re finding at the moment in the local area is the people who are coming forward for the jobs are not researching the opportunity, they’re not well versed enough. This isn’t a call centre role, there seems to be a lack of educated talent out there, and maybe the fear of change prevents people from applying in the first place.

“We are getting people coming to us who don’t care about career opportunity, they’re just interested in the here and now and not the future - the sort of people who just treat sales as sales. We offer a consultative service first, helping make business better, and need professionals to help us grow even further.”

John Dugmore, the Chief Executive of Suffolk chamber of Commerce, said: “It is always frustrating to hear of examples like this from local businesses, especially when they are actively looking to employ people into new roles.

“Our experience and the experience of many of our members is that in Suffolk we have some hard working and talented young people who are passionate about finding employment opportunities and I hope that this is the exception and not the norm.”

He added: “What we do at places like the Suffolk Chamber Job Club and the Young Chamber is really push the importance of being prepared to take on a new job. Those looking for work need to have good communication skills, have researched into the company where they want to work and must have an impressive CV that makes them stand out from the crowd.”

To get in contact with The Data Partnership email

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