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UK job vacancies reach pandemic high

As lockdowns across the United Kingdom are eased and businesses look to return to usual business, UK job vacancies have reached their highest levels since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Certain industries however, are still reporting staff shortages as they struggle to employ workers in the volumes required to maintain service as consumers return. With studies showing that approximately 5% of jobseekers unable to find suitable work, it is the hospitality and transport sectors that are being hardest.

One reason for this is that students, who have historically tended to fil part-time positions whilst studying, are still returning to their usual places of education, or have relocated away from major cities altogether to save money during the pandemic.

This shortage in workers is now being seen in the retail industry too as shops that remained open during the lockdowns face competition for suitable staff from other sectors as services resume. It is also believed that many of these positions would traditionally have been filled by non-UK workers – workers who in many cases have returned home to be with families and sav money during the repeated lockdowns.

Whilst many businesses claim to be unable to fill roles, often what is actually meant is that they are unable to find skilled and experienced workers to fill those roles, and this further highlights the long-term need for a focus on employing and retaining valuable staff through appropriate recruitment, screening and benefits.

“This shortfall has been impacted by barriers within the UK's new immigration rules and a restricted apprenticeship levy that does not address the skills that are currently scarce,”

British Retail Consortium Employment Policy Advisor, Tamara Hill.

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