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REC JobsOutlook August 2015

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), the representative body for the UK recruitment industry, have released their latest jobs outlook, highlighting key trends, forecasts and feedback from UK employers.

This month, the report once again highlighted issues regarding skills shortages and the challenges facing a number of industries within the UK, in particular addressing competition for talent between the private and public sector organisations.

Commenting on the report, REC chief executive Kevin Green said:

“The private sector is clearly paying more to retain talent so the outlook for public sector organisations whose staff have the skills that the private sector requires is going to be testing.

The challenge for business and government is to address the gap between the skills employers want and the skills candidates have. That involves improving careers advice in schools, better vocational education and more opportunities for older workers to reskill.”

Summary of key points:


  • Three quarters of employers believe that economic conditions, domestically are improving. This is a drop from eight in ten in July’s report.
  • Remaining relatively stable from the previous month, 45% of employers expect confidence in hiring and investment decisions to get better.

Use of agency workers

  • Eight in ten (79%) hirers are using agency workers to gain short-term access to key strategic skills.

Short-term outlook (next 3 months)

  • The number of UK employers stating they will increase their permanent workforce continued to rise (86%).
  • The number of hirers planning to add agency headcount over the next quarter increase by 13 percentage points to 44%
  • With only 2% planning to reduce agency workers, there continues to be a concern regarding competition for talent.

Medium-term outlook (4 to 12 months)

  • This month’s report shows an increase of 11 percentage points in the positive balance of medium term permanent hiring intensions with 79% planning to increase numbers.
  • 4% plan to decrease their permanent headcount, with the remaining 17% looking to stay the same.
  • There was a significant rise in the proportion of hirers planning to increase agency workers to four in ten hirers.
  • 59% expect to maintain current levels of agency workers whilst only 1% intend to decrease numbers, adding to the concern regarding competition.

Skills shortages

  • Employers anticipate driving and distribution skills to be in short supply to fill both permanent (14%) and temporary (10%) roles over the next year.
  • Engineering and technical skills remain the top area of concern in regards to skills shortages over the next year.


Source: REC

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