Drop in employer confidence dents job prospects

Job prospects in Scotland have fallen as employers put the brakes on recruiting amid uncertainty around the EU referendum, a survey has found.

Manpower said employers' hiring intentions have fallen. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Recruitment firm Manpower’s latest employment outlook survey found that there had been in a dip in hiring intentions from a strong previous quarter. A net +3 per cent of employers plan to take on more staff over the coming quarter, down from +6 per cent in the previous quarter.

Despite the overall drop, sectors such as energy – where the rollout of smart meters to homes and businesses is fuelling demand for new skills – are seeing steep rises in demand for staff.

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Amanda White, operations manager at Manpower, said that Scotland continues to underperform the UK’s average rate of hiring intentions partly blamed on renewed employer caution around Brexit uncertainty.

“We’ve seen a decline in hiring across Scotland, with the commercial sector hardest hit. There has been a notable fall in call centre and sales roles. Another thing we’re noticing is a slowdown in the temporary market, as employers target students directly for short-term work ahead of the summer holiday period rather than using recruitment agencies,” she said.

While the outlook has fallen this quarter, it is still an improvement from 2015 and there has been an uplift in demand for technical roles such as engineering and welding. Manpower said candidates in these areas were able to command higher salaries.