Concern over staff shortages as jobs market rebounds

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation warned of 'acute' staff shortages in a range of sectors. Picture: John Devlin

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation warned of 'acute' staff shortages in a range of sectors. Picture: John Devlin

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Scotland’s labour market is on the rebound with permanent staff placements rising for the first time in five months, a key survey indicated today.

The latest Report on Jobs for Scotland also reveals that starting salaries for staff placed in permanent jobs continued to rise last month. The increase was the most marked for five months but slightly weaker than the UK average.

We’re already seeing acute staff shortages in a variety of sectors

Kevin Green

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Kevin Green, chief executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), which publishes the report, pointed to positive signs in Scotland’s jobs market but warned that a further decline in candidate availability was an ongoing cause for concern.

He added: “The Chancellor is expected to announce a boost for vocational training in today’s Budget and this is very welcome. However, it won’t solve the immediate need for people to fill jobs. We’re already seeing acute staff shortages in a variety of sectors, from healthcare to engineering.

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“This is likely to get worse, especially if the government continues to refuse the rights of EU citizens living in the UK post-Brexit.

“On the flip-side, this is a good time for individuals prepared to move jobs, with bumper pay offers on the table as hirers compete to secure the talent available.”

Data from the latest survey, which is compiled by Markit, pointed to the first rise in the number of people placed in permanent jobs by recruitment consultancies in Scotland since September last year.

Meanwhile, Scottish recruitment firms recorded a sharper increase in temporary staff billings, the most marked since December 2015. Sector data showed staff demand was strongest for nursing/medical/care for both permanent and temporary roles.

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