By Daniel Hunter
April saw more vacancies than jobseekers in 32 of the top 50 UK cities, suggesting that large numbers of UK workers don’t have the skills to fill the positions required in the modern workforce, according to the latest UK Job Market Report from Adzuna.co.uk.
The number of jobseekers has fallen under 800,000 for the first time since the recession, to stand at just 795,967 in April, compared to 1,142,340 a year ago.
However, at the same time, the number of advertised vacancies in the UK has soared past the million-mark to reach a new post-recession record of 1,033,435 available positions in April. This is a 25.6% year-on-year increase on the 823,081 vacancies advertised in the same month last year and a 2.7% increase on the 1,019,488 vacancies recorded in March.
The simultaneous fall in jobseekers and rise in vacancies has translated into a new record low in competition for jobs, with just 0.77 jobseekers per advertised vacancy in April, down from 0.81 in March and almost half of the 1.39 recorded in April 2014.
This falling ratio of jobseekers to advertised vacancies held true across 32 of the top 50 UK cities, suggesting that three in five cities are struggling to fill positions — most likely due to a skill shortage.
Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, said: “The number of jobseekers is falling while advertised vacancies are ballooning. This could be a warning sign that our workforce lacks the skills necessary to fill up many of the new jobs appearing. The recovery certainly has the capacity to progress further and faster — but at the moment there’s a disconnect between our abilities and our economic climate. It’s like standing outside your recently fixed up car, tuned up and ready to go, only to realise you’ve lost the keys.
“If we’re going to get behind the wheel of this recovery, we need to unlock the potential of our workforce, with more emphasis on the diversity of available jobs if only people are aware of them and willing to train themselves. This change could be led by the government, but part of it is a culture-shift. We have the recovery we deserve — now we need to build a workforce capable of taking advantage of it.”