By Marcus Leach

Figures compiled by Hays Procurement, the leading recruiting expert, and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) show that there has been a significant increase in demand and reward for procurement and supply management professionals during the course of the past year.

Data from Hays Procurement shows that the number of procurement and supply chain job vacancies has risen significantly, with 33 per cent more jobs
advertised in Q2 2011 compared with the same period in 2010. Vacancies for
Procurement Officers increased most sharply (200%) followed by Senior Buyers
(110%) and Procurement Managers (75%).

The highest concentration of job vacancies is in the South East (22%) and
London (18%), followed by the Midlands (12%) and the South West (12%), with
growth strongest in the automotive manufacturing jobs sector, up an average
of 73% per quarter in the first half of the year.

Whilst overall five out of six available procurement jobs remain within
private companies there was a notable increase in the number of public
sector vacancies, with an average 29% increase in the first two quarters of
2011. This is despite otherwise high rates of job cuts in the public sector,
which are predicted to reach 610,000 by 2014/15 at current rates, but also
perhaps because of increased pressures within the public sector to reduce
costs.

These increases are also reflective of an on-going trend of procurement
becoming recognised as a high-level strategic function within organisations
during the past decade, shown particularly in terms of salary increases.
According to Hays Procurement the number of senior procurement jobs with
advertised salaries of between £75,000 and £100,000 per annum rose by 35%
in the first half of 2011.

Similarly, 60 per cent of respondents to the CIPS/Supply Management Profile
of the Profession Survey earlier this year, reported that their salary had
increase in the past 2 years. An overwhelming 86% said their procurement
department was doing more than it was 5 years previously, and 39% said they
report to a higher level of the company than they did 5 years ago.

"The financial crisis and continuing uncertainties weighing on the global
economy, have led many companies to review their business strategies and to
expand parts of their operations that ultimately help them to reduce costs
and ensure the sustainability of future growth. Meanwhile, recent scrutiny
of government procurement strategies has led to more strategic employment in the sector," David Noble, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply said.

With an average twenty (19.65) applicants per procurement and supply chain
job, compared to an average thirty (30.40) for human resources jobs, and
thirty-one (31.09) for non-qualified finance jobs, the data from Hays also
suggests that there may be comparatively attractive opportunities as well as
higher demand for candidates, particularly those who may be looking to
switch careers.

Meanwhile, 94% of procurement professionals surveyed for the CIPS/Supply
Management survey earlier in the year, said that they would recommend
purchasing and supply as a career.

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