POLITICS

UK Job Vacancies Up But Skills Crisis Sees Growing Candidate Shortage

08/04/2014 11:05 BST | Updated 08/04/2014 13:59 BST
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UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 15: A jobseeker looks at the latest vacancies advertised at a Job Centre in London, U.K., on Monday, Dec. 15, 2008. U.K. business services companies will shed 275,000 workers in the next two years as the recession ravages the advertising and real estate industries, the Centre for Economics and Business Research said. (Photo by Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Businesses are suffering from an increasing shortage of candidates despite the increasing number of job vacancies, in a sign that a "core group" of long-term unemployed are struggling to find work, a new report has found.

Starting salaries for people in permanent jobs rose last month at their fastest rate since 2007, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG said. Meanwhile, demand for staff increased in both the public and private sector.

However, their survey of 400 recruitment consultancies found that the availability of permanent and temporary staff had dropped at the sharpest rate for a decade.

REC's director of policy, Tom Hadley, said: "The trend of growth in people finding jobs across all industrial sectors and regions continues. Starting salaries and hourly pay rates are up as employers battle to entice the talent they need.

"However worsening candidate shortages mean that the number of people available to fill both temporary and permanent jobs is falling at the sharpest rate in nearly a decade.

"We have a core group of long-term unemployed people whose skills don't fit with current vacancies and are unable to access the jobs market.

"As well as up skilling UK workers, the government needs to take a joined up approach to immigration. A priority is addressing the restrictions on visas for highly skilled workers, which would allow businesses to access the people they need to grow and create jobs for more British workers."

The report came as another study found that most jobseekers would go on a training course to improve their chances of finding work.

Four out of five said they would consider going on a training course, especially to improve business or computer skills, in a survey of more than 8,000 jobseekers for the jobs website totaljobs.com.

Mike Fetters, of totaljobs.com, said: "Clearly, there is a huge appetite for further training amongst today's jobseekers. "