Firms in the North tak­ing on more per­ma­nent work­ers.

Yorkshire Post - Business - - BUSINESS / NEWS - Mark Casci BUSI­NESS ED­I­TOR @MarkCasci

The hir­ing of per­ma­nent staff across the North of Eng­land has ac­cel­er­ated, new data re­veals to­day, with strong sales at­trib­uted to the rise.

The num­ber of per­ma­nent va­can­cies in the North con­tin­ued to rise dur­ing Oc­to­ber, faster than that seen in Septem­ber and slightly quicker than the av­er­age across the UK.

Sim­i­larly, the num­ber of avail­able jobs for tem­po­rary work­ers rose fur­ther at the start of the fourth quar­ter. The pace of ex­pan­sion was the quick­est in 14 months and out­paced the UK av­er­age.

Re­cruiters re­ported that greater de­mand for staff, par­tic­u­larly for in­dus­trial, con­struc­tion and blue col­lar work­ers, boosted temp billings dur­ing Oc­to­ber.

There was also an over­all in­crease in tem­po­rary staff billings across the UK dur­ing Oc­to­ber.

The marked ex­pan­sion was the sec­ond-fastest seen so far this year as all four re­gions posted faster rates of growth com­pared to Septem­ber.

The data was pub­lished in the KPMG and REC UK Re­port on Jobs: North of Eng­land and is com­piled by IHS Markit.

How­ever, the avail­abil­ity of per­ma­nent staff in the North of Eng­land con­tin­ued to fall at the be­gin­ning of the fi­nal quar­ter, as it has done since Fe­bru­ary 2013.

Anec­do­tal ev­i­dence pointed to a num­ber of skill short­ages in­clud­ing those of ac­coun­tants, driv­ers, en­gi­neers and lawyers. Oc­to­ber data also sig­nalled the sharpest fall in per­ma­nent can­di­date avail­abil­ity across the UK since Jan­uary, ex­tend­ing the cur­rent run of de­cline to 66 months.

Chris Hearld, in­set, North­ern Re­gional chair­man at KPMG UK, said: “Busi­nesses in the North have been re­lent­less in hir­ing new staff over the past few years and con­tinue to do so, which points to a re­silient and con­fi­dent econ­omy.

“But, as more job op­por­tu­ni­ties are cre­ated, the re­gion is be­ing ham­pered by chronic skills short­ages – some­thing that is prov­ing to be a chal­lenge for many of our clients.

“Com­pe­ti­tion for the best tal­ent will be fierce and man­age­ment teams will need to con­sider at­tract­ing re­cruits from be­yond their lo­cal mar­kets, which will also put up­ward pres­sure on wages.”

Oc­to­ber’s data pointed to a fur­ther sharp in­crease in re­mu­ner­a­tion of­fered to newly-placed per­ma­nent work­ers. Re­cov­er­ing from Septem­ber’s re­cent low, the rate of in­fla­tion ac­cel­er­ated to a four-month high in Oc­to­ber.

Higher start­ing salaries were gen­er­ally at­trib­uted to skill short­ages and the need to at­tract staff. UK per­ma­nent start­ing salaries rose markedly at the start of the fourth quar­ter. The pace of in­fla­tion was slightly slower than that seen dur­ing Septem­ber, but el­e­vated rel­a­tive to the his­tor­i­cal av­er­age. Salary growth was fastest in the South of Eng­land and slow­est in Lon­don.

Neil Car­berry, chief ex­ec­u­tive at the REC, said: “Skills short­ages are a long-stand­ing fea­ture of our econ­omy. They af­fect the abil­ity of em­ploy­ers to grow and cre­ate jobs.

“That we have short­ages in key skilled roles like IT, en­gi­neer­ing and health is a sign that the right train­ing and sup­port is not in place for peo­ple to progress into these jobs from lower skilled work.

“While firms spend a lot ev­ery year on train­ing, this mis­match per­sists. Re­newed in­vest­ment from firms must be part­nered with open­ness from Gov­ern­ment to do­ing things dif­fer­ently, start­ing with the re­form the Ap­pren­tice­ship Levy needs, turn­ing it into a skills levy that sup­ports all work­ers to have ac­cess to the train­ing they need.”

The re­gion is be­ing ham­pered by chronic skills short­ages.

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