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UK graduate labour market update: 1 July

July 2022

In his latest update, Charlie Ball looks at a report on recruitment difficulties and the impact of skills shortages on businesses

The latest rapid indicators of economic and social change are now available from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

  • The total volume of online job adverts on 24 June 2022 decreased slightly from the previous week to 121% of its February 2020 pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic average level.
  • 30% of the workforce was working in a hybrid pattern or from home at the end of May.
  • 20% of businesses reported turnover in May 2022 was lower compared with April 2022.
  • 30% of businesses expected to increase the price of the goods or services they sell in July 2022.

The CIPD have polled 1,000 senior HR leaders on hybrid working:

  • 78% of organisations allow hybrid working, through either formal or informal arrangements. Just 8% don't, and 13% said it wasn't generally applicable for their job or sector.
  • 54% expect hybrid workers to be in the office for a minimum number of days either each week (43%) or each month (12%). 44% said there were no minimum expectations to come in.
  • Where staff are expected in the workplace each week, it's typically for a minimum of two days (34%), or three days (32%).
  • 59% of senior decision makers agreed business leaders and managers in their organisations were more likely to trust people to work from home and be productive following the pandemic, compared to before COVID-19. Just 13% disagreed.
  • 68% of employers don't plan to make any changes to pay and/or benefits for hybrid workers, 4% of respondents said their organisation had reduced pay and/or benefits and as many as one in ten (13%) said they plan to do so.
  • 42% of senior decision makers felt that 'the memory of the pandemic will fade quite quickly and it won't be long before we revert to the way we worked before COVID-19'. However, 41% disagreed with that statement.

The Manpower Group's Q3 Outlook Survey finds that 78% of employers are experiencing difficulties recruiting.

Large businesses (of over 250 employees) experience the most issues with 81% reporting recruitment difficulty. The top five in-demand roles are:

  • IT and data
  • front office/customer facing
  • admin/office support
  • sales/marketing
  • operations/logistics.

Hardest five skills for businesses to find are:

  • critical thinking and analysis
  • resilience
  • leadership and social influence
  • reasoning and problem solving
  • taking the initiative.

Across the board, 28% of all businesses surveyed said they had to turn down work or were not able to bid for work because of staffing shortages.

The Open University and British Chambers of Commerce have released their 2022 Business Barometer:

  • 68% of employers are experiencing a skills shortage. Of these organisations, 72% said there had been an increased workload for other staff as a result, and 78% have seen reduced output, profitability or growth as a result.
  • 68% of SMEs are currently facing skills shortages. This rises to 86% of large organisations.
  • This was an increase on 2021, where 56% of respondents experiencing skills shortages said the problem was placing additional pressure on existing staff.
  • Across the board, 28% of all businesses surveyed said they had to turn down work or were not able to bid for work because of staffing shortages.

TotalJobs and the Diversity Trust report that Black and south Asian women take on average two months longer than white colleagues to land their first job after leaving education:

  • It took the average Black woman 5.1 months to secure their first role after leaving education, while south Asian women took 4.9 months.
  • In comparison, white women took just 2.8 months on average to secure their first job, while white men took 3.4 months.
  • 66% of Black women and 62% of south Asian women who had not yet started work said they believed they could achieve anything with their future career, compared to just 38% of white women and 46% of white men.
  • However, further into their careers, confidence levels for Black and south Asian women were largely the same (64% and 62% respectively), while confidence among white women and white men had increased to 43% and 53% respectively.
  • 2 in 3 Black and South Asian women at managerial level report their ethnicity or gender impacted their progression into a leadership role.

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