Jessica Fino 9 May 2017 12:29pm

UK firms struggling to fill job vacancies

UK companies have been struggling to find candidates to fill vacancies as EU nationals are being put off from taking up roles in the country

Permanent staff hiring dropped to its weakest for seven months during April, according to the latest Markit/REC Report on Jobs.

Meanwhile, recruiters saw the sharpest drop in candidate availability for 16 months in April.

Recruiters flagged 60 different roles with a shortage of suitable applicants, which included accountants, IT staff, engineers, cleaners, doctors and nurses.

Kevin Green, REC chief executive said that the weakening pound and lack of clarity about future immigration rules were putting off some EU nationals from taking up roles in the UK.

However, the lack of candidates has led to an increase in salaries and vacancies growth for both permanent and temporary/contract staff.

In fact, hourly pay rates for short-term staff increased at the sharpest pace in 2017 so far, the report said.

London saw the slowest increase in permanent placements, while the Midlands and Scotland registered the fastest rate of expansion.

Green said, “One thing is for certain, if British business is to thrive then whichever party forms a government after 8 June needs to address the ever-shrinking pool of suitable candidates by investing in skills and career advice for UK jobseekers, as well as safeguarding access to the workers we need from abroad.

“It is vital that the future immigration system is agile enough to reflect and adapt to evolving labour market needs.”

The report was put together from original research data from Markit, collected from a panel of 400 recruitment and employment consultancies.