Permanent white-collar jobs have spiked once again, up 28 percent in January when compared to the same time last year.

This as the UK continues to battle a skills crisis. The Recruitment Trends Snapshot report from The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), also showed demand for contractors was also up year-on-year, increasing 38 percent.

The data from Bullhorn, found month-on-month figures showed a spike in jobs, with permanent and contract vacancies increasing 104 percent and 78 percent. This was between December and January, and can be attributed to a bounce back following a seasonal lull.

CEO of APSCo Anne Swain said the hiring market in the UK is showing no signs of slowing, which is promising. But she said: “Skills shortages remain rife across the country which will only be exacerbated if vacancy numbers continue on the same growth trajectory without a sustainable solution to the dearth of talent.”


Skills shortage needs addressing

This continued pressure on the recruitment market comes at a time when skills shortages are plaguing the UK, with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealing at the end of last year that over half of businesses reported they are unable to meet demand due to worker shortages.

In its Access to Skills and Talent Public Policy plan, APSCo highlighted its government requests, in order to create a labour market that is dynamic and flexible to address the skills shortages that are being felt across the UK. 

Ms Swain said: “ While the release of the Levelling Up Whitepaper does show a promising commitment to increasing the professional skills of the UK market, there’s still more that can be done, including changes to the Apprenticeship Levy to make it more flexible so that the likes of agency workers can carry training over in their roles.”


Help school leavers access training initiatives

According to the trade association, flexible, pragmatic, training initiatives must be designed by government to maximise access across the workforce from school leavers to mid-life “lane changers” if it is to equip the UK labour market with the skills, experience, and expertise in demand by employers and business now and in decades to come.

APSCo’s data also reveals a significant increase in placements, with the number of candidates accepting new permanent roles increasing 84 percent between January 2021 and January 2022. Contract placements were up 12 percent during the same period. With the ONS reporting a continued decline in unemployment levels, this rise in placements alongside a spike in vacancies will put increasing pressures on the UK’s recruitment market.

Sales & Strategy Director, Analytics at Bullhorn Joe McGuire said: “Based on all the conversations I am having I don’t think this level of productivity will surprise many. The market conditions remain very exciting and we are going to continue to see a war for talent for some time.”



To access the Recruitment Trends Snapshot, click here.