Over a quarter of British businesses plan to increase headcount

(3 minutes to read)

The percentage of UK firms facing recruitment difficulties has returned to previous highs, however one in four businesses plan to increase their headcount.

Latest figures show that one in four businesses plan to increase their headcount in Q4 2019, and two in three expect to keep their workforce consistent.

However, almost three-quarters (73%) of businesses who attempted to hire faced recruitment difficulties in Q3 2019, compared with 64% in Q2, according to the recent Quarterly Recruitment Outlook from the British Chambers of Commerce.

BCC Director General Adam Marshall commented on the findings, “Jobseekers will welcome the fact that many businesses are continuing to hire staff, but policymakers should be very alarmed that skills shortages continue to bedevil firms – particularly in the skilled roles that will be needed to drive healthy manufacturing and export performance following Brexit.

“The next government must deliver more generous investment in high-quality technical and vocational education at all levels and reduce business costs so firms can back this up with on-the-job training and apprenticeships.”

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Patrick Wehrmann, CEO of Totaljobs, added, “The labour market remains one of the strongest pillars of the UK economy, and in the previous quarter, there were almost 750,000 vacancies advertised on Totaljobs, driving over 13 million applications from the UK workforce.

“Despite economic uncertainty, our latest research indicates that the labour market is buoyant, and with over a quarter of businesses looking to expand their workforce with an increased headcount in Q4, this looks set to continue. However, it’s notable that skills shortages continue to affect businesses UK-wide, and as such, regardless of wider economic concerns, employers should be mindful that they are doing what’s necessary to attract and retain the best talent on offer.

“Totaljobs research shows that workers are particularly driven by professional development and training, clear progression paths, and a healthy work-life balance. It’s vital that employers put these things front of mind and continue to drive investment in their people in order to keep staff engaged, and drive business output during a dip in the economy.”

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