Engineering roles hardest to fill as skills shortage continues

A new study suggests that engineering roles are the hardest for recruiters to fill, while separate figures highlight a continued skills shortage across the UK as a whole.  

According to the study from jobsite CV-Library, almost half of recruiters (49.9 per cent) think that engineering is the toughest sector to place candidates in. Across all sectors, 65 per cent admitted having difficulties finding the right candidates to fill roles, with over a third (34.2 per cent) saying candidates have unrealistic expectations.

Recruiters are struggling to fill roles across most sectors

“In a job market where candidates now have more selection, it’s unsurprising to see that recruiters are struggling to fill the growing number of roles available,” said Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library. “That, combined with the growing concern over skills shortages continue to cause a problem for the engineering industry.”

That skills shortage was highlighted by figures from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC). Its latest report, published today in conjunction with KPMG, showed that although permanent placements continued to rise in August, the rate of growth was at its lowest in 27 months.

The availability of candidates for permanent roles also fell throughout the month, with the rate of decline the fastest for the year to date. The good news for those seeking work is that with vacancies continuing to rise, salary growth remains strong.

“Because of the scarcity of talent available, we expect that employment will continue to grow but at a slower speed than we have seen over the past two years,” said REC chief executive Kevin Green.

“In response to worsening skills shortages, employers are focussing on retaining the staff they have and this will promote wage growth. Better investment in training and motivating the current workforce should also help to improve productivity.”

Bernard Brown, a partner at KPMG, speculated that the sharp drop-off in available candidates for August may be down to job seekers taking a break for the month, with the expectation of more opportunities being available in September.

“The number of people looking for a job fell at the sharpest rate seen for a year, leaving unfilled posts across the economy,” he said. “Many candidates may have simply shelved their plans for the summer, believing their prospects to be stronger in September.”