A new report from APSCo suggests that the UK’s professional jobs market is reviving strongly, with vacancies and placements rising for the third successive month.
The data reveals a month-on-month increase in placements of 1.4%. Core contractor disciplines (engineering and IT) did even better than the average at 1.5%, despite the fact that hiring traditionally slows during the holiday period.
There has also been a steep rise in demand for accounting and finance skills over the last quarter: placements were 7.5% higher than during the equivalent period last year, representing a 3% month-on-month rise. The number of vacancies available showed a 15% year-on-year increase during July and August.
APSCo member Randstad, however, forecasts a shortfall of 10,200 qualified accountants by 2050 due to immigration restrictions, an ageing workforce and skills shortages.
APSCo chief executive Ann Swain said: “While this skills gap was suppressed early in the recession, it is now coming home to roost in the professional sector and our members are reporting shortages of suitably qualified professionals not only in the accounting and finance arena but also in sectors such as IT, engineering and marketing. The skills shortages have always been there but as the recovery gains pace and employers have more confidence to hire, we could be facing a real problem.”
In the meantime, Umbrella Company Employees and other freelancers are also benefiting from the revival: there was a 17% year-on-year surge in advertising for temporary-contracting roles across all professional sectors. Given the looming skills shortage, they are likely to remain in demand for some time.