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Latest labour market statistics highlights a growing skills gap

“The drop in unemployment levels is, on paper, a positive for the UK’s labour force. However, in the context of continued monthly increases in vacancies and pay-rolled employee numbers, this does raise further concerns of skills shortages across the country.”

Responding to the latest labour market data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Tania Bowers, Global Public Policy Director at the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) commented:

“The drop in unemployment levels is, on paper, a positive for the UK’s labour force. However, in the context of continued monthly increases in vacancies and pay-rolled employee numbers, this does raise further concerns of skills shortages across the country. It is promising to note from the data that the redundancy rate fell to a record low once the job retention scheme came to an end, which indicates that this was successful.

“Looking ahead, the dearth of talent in the UK is a concern that we’re expecting will remain top of the agenda for businesses. The country’s economy has recovered well so far since the pandemic, but this continued growth does hinge on the availability of a highly skilled workforce.

We are still seeing the impact of Brexit play out, with sectors such as healthcare that have historically relied on international resources reporting significant skills gaps.

What we need is a global talent attraction approach, but at the moment, the UK labour market isn’t as appealing as it needs to be to non-UK professionals. This is particularly prevalent for the highly skilled independent contractor audience who still have no viable and attractive visa route into the country.”

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