Industry reports show major growth – and one major concern…
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Last week, UK research from the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) revealed that 37% of British workers are planning to leave their current jobs in 2015 – a dramatic increase from 2014 (19%) and 2013 (13%). This coincided with survey findings from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) which detailed that UK recruitment firms now have 29% more vacancies on their books than this time last year.
The growth extends across all industries and sectors, but is particularly pronounced in engineering (a remarkable 53% increase in year-on-year vacancies). Major long-term infrastructure projects such as HS2 and Crossrail, together with the falling price of crude oil, all point to further sustained growth in demand for talent, particularly in Engineering, Technology and IT (skills that UK plc has struggled to provide in sufficient numbers for the last decade and more).
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) also reported that half of British businesses are planning to expand their workforce in 2015. But the Director General of the CBI, widely respected as ‘the voice of British business’, cautioned that uncertainty around the forthcoming election may impact on recruitment. The CBI has urged all political parties to take a pro-EU stance at the election. With good reason.
The latest Deloitte CFO Survey reveals that this May’s UK General Election is of major concern to organisations. In fact, when asked to rate the level of risk posed on a scale of 0 to 100, CFOs attached a 63 rating to the General Election – significantly higher than the 56 attached to deflation of the Euro, or the 39 points awarded to further cuts in spending. This may be because many analysts have predicted that, given the surge in support for smaller parties such as Ukip, the SNP and the Greens, a hung parliament is a real possibility. For this reason, companies are likely to remain cautious surrounding hiring in early 2015 as CFOs resist investing in talent until the political landscape is less volatile.
Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo noted:
“The fact that Deloitte has found that CFOs believe business investment in the UK will rise by 9% this year – higher than other major industrialised nations – indicates real optimism in the future of the UK economy. This positivity is mirrored in the ambition of the many UK professionals who are planning on switching roles in the coming year.”Ann Swain - APSCo Chief Executive
But John Nurthen, Executive Director of Global Research for Staffing Industry Analysts (which compiled the APSCo report) was more qualified when he said:
“It’s reassuring that the good growth in permanent vacancies which began in the second half of 2013 has followed through right to the end of 2014. And it is unfortunate that the early part of 2015 will be shrouded in uncertainty given upcoming elections.”John Nurthen, APSCo Executive Director of Global Research
He went on to say:
“What potentially makes this electoral uncertainty even more damaging this time around is that a win for the Conservatives (either by a majority or with coalition partners) means that there will be an In-Out referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU by the end of 2017.
So, even with the election concluded, we might be facing a two year hiatus when business will not know whether the UK will remain a member of the European Union or not. For many employers, business planning for 2016 and 2017 may become a somewhat myopic affair”John Nurthen, APSCo Executive Director of Global Research
Top Image Credit: CBI: 8 out of 10 firms say UK must stay in EU
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