Rise in both perm and temp billings, says Report on Jobs

October has seen steeper increases for both permanent placements and temp billings, according to the latest KPMG/Recruitment & Employment Confederation ‘Report on Jobs’.

The report, released this morning, reveals the number of people placed into permanent jobs in the UK rose at a sharp and accelerated rate in October, with the latest increase the second-fastest since March. Billings for temp staff expanded at their quickest pace since May. 

The report also revealed that while demand for staff remains robust, job vacancies expanded at the softest pace for nearly two years in October. The growth in demand for staff remained historically sharp at the start of Q4, while candidate availability declined at its quickest pace for nine months in October. The supply of both permanent workers and temp staff falling at steeper rates on September. 

Steep increases in permanent placements were witnessed across all four English regions monitored by the survey, led by the South of England. The Midlands saw the quickest increase in temp billings, though sharp rates of growth were also registered elsewhere. 

Across individual sectors, IT & computing and engineering saw the steepest increases in demand, while the slowest (but still marked) rise was for construction staff. Nursing/medical/care topped the rankings in terms of demand for temporary workers at the start of Q4, though all categories noted higher vacancies for temp staff. 

Commenting on the findings, REC CEO Neil Carberry said: “Skills shortages are a long-standing feature of our economy… That we have shortages in key skilled roles like IT, engineering and health is a sign that the right training and support is not in place for people to progress into these jobs from lower skilled work.

“While firms spend a lot every year on training, this mismatch persists. It’s time for businesses and government to work together to address it. Renewed investment from firms must be partnered with openness from government to doing things differently, starting with the reform the Apprenticeship Levy needs, turning it into a skills levy that supports all workers to have access to the training they need.” 

“A new partnership is also necessary in our NHS. As we head towards winter we are once again seeing potential shortages of nursing, medical and social care staff. Working with recruiters to address this should be a government policy priority – without access to agency workers key frontline services could be put under threat.”

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