For the first time, the number of vacancies is higher than the number of people unemployed. There are labour shortages in numerous occupations, such as tech, manufacturing, nursing and education.
Add to this the rise in inflation, and salaries not keeping up and the UK could be heading toward a real problem. The rise in economic inactivity may also be adding to the recruitment crisis.
More than a fifth of workers are struggling to afford the things they need to live. For them, the cost-of-living crisis is not some hackneyed political slogan but a fact of life. It spells real hardship.
The fact that there has been an increase in economic inactivity, particularly in the over 50s, shows that there are also the hidden unemployed, which is growing. Leading to employers struggling to recruit and fill vacancies.
Businesses across the country are doing what they can on pay, both for existing staff and to help them hire in a jobs market experiencing a severe labour shortage. But rising inflation makes that effort hard and reduces the gains workers feel from pay rises.
A key way to reduce the pressure on our economy and keep inflation down will be to focus on ensuring employment rates and hours worked recover to pre-pandemic levels. Inactivity is still rising, so businesses and government need to work together to address this.
What else can be done?
The cost of living crisis is a worry for many, and salaries not keeping up with inflation will no doubt cause more worry, but what can be done to help both those in work and the hidden unemployed?
It is a welcome step that the government is (belatedly) offering direct financial support to help with soaring energy bills. While the government announced some time ago that it plans to impose a windfall tax on oil and gas companies to help pay for this support, having previously resisted pressure to do so. The wider lesson from this U-turn is that the state has a responsibility to protect the economically disadvantaged, and that includes redistributing income in this way.
To combat the struggles to recruit and the hidden unemployment, employers need to be part of the solution, this is where apprenticeships can help as they can equip workers with different transferable skills.
How can CogniSoft help?
Finding a solution to the current recruitment problem in the UK, isn’t going to be easy and it will require a joined-up approach. CogniSoft have supported the skills and employability sectors for over 35 years, specialising in Client-Tracking, Case & Learner Management Systems. Our tailored software solutions are feature-rich and user-friendly, simplifying and speeding-up administrative processes. Our systems provide detailed reporting and data management, helping clients create efficiencies and demonstrate the impact of their work. If this sounds like something that could benefit you, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0161 777 2900.