| 21 February 2024, Wednesday |

KPMG survey: Job vacancies in UK as skills shortage bites

Job vacancies in the UK are surging but there is shortage in workers to fill them, according to a KPMG survey.

Demand for workers have rose at its fastest rate in May for more than 23 years, after easing Covid restrictions and reopening various sectors. However, the number of staff available to fill those jobs declined at the quickest rate since 2017.

KPMG called on the government and firms to address skills gaps.

Workers were especially needed in IT and computing, which has been a long-term trend, as well as hospitality, the survey found.

Hospitality venues are finding difficulties in filling thousands of job vacancies with waiting staff and chefs in particular demand as Covid-19 restrictions continue to ease, industry body UK Hospitality said last week.

Many hospitality firms have struggled during the pandemic despite huge government support, including rates holidays and the furlough scheme, and staff have lost their jobs or seen their hours reduced.

This monthly survey is based on responses from four hundred recruitment and employment agencies and is yet more evidence of the economic recovery gathering pace.

It says hiring activity has intensified across all job categories, particularly in IT and computing and hotels and catering.

But there’s also a shortage of workers. Hospitality and events firms have been fighting to get the staff they need to cope with a post-lockdown surge in demand.

Some are warning of a staffing crisis this summer, partly caused by gaps left by EU workers who have returned home because of Brexit and the pandemic.

The survey’s authors say skills and labor shortages, that already existed before the pandemic, are now the most pressing issue in the jobs market.

This means many employers will need to look at the wages and benefits they offer at a time when they’re still struggling to financially recover from the last 14 months.