The demand for skilled workers in a wide range of industries has never been higher.
Across Britain there is a huge shortage in trained and experienced candidates to fill gaps in sectors including IT, technology, construction and engineering.
These trends are mirrored in North Wales and across the border into Cheshire and the North West, according to Anglesey-based S2 Recruitment, whose leading consultants are in daily contact with some of the region’s biggest companies, searching for the most suitable applicants to help fill a multitude of roles.
The most recent data from the ONS (Office for National Statistics) revealed there were more than 767,000 job vacancies in Britain in the three months to January, the highest number on record.
IT positions have been particularly difficult to fill, and according to reports there were around 83,000 advertised job vacancies in the sector earlier this year, more than any other industry.
S2 Recruitment, part of the Colwyn Bay-based Supertemps group, targets IT, executive and engineering candidates and clients and is helping these businesses to cope with growing workloads and order books.
Managing director Sarah Ellwood, who is celebrating her 21st year in recruitment, says while there are challenges ahead the growing confidence in the region – including the £1bn North Wales Growth Deal – is a big positive.
“The lack of skilled workers in certain sectors is a big talking point, but if you look at it from a more upbeat perspective its incredible to see so many industries performing at a level where they need more trained staff to help take them forward and cope with that surge in demand,” she said.
“To combat this in the last two years we have re-branded our former Specialist Division to S2 Recruitment and employed additional talented consultants to lay firm foundations for this part of the business which targets Engineering, IT and Executive positions.”
“We also unveiled a new construction division as our clients in that area needed a dedicated and more reliable service with more focus.
“That need reflects the many housing and commercial developments that are underway and imminent in North Wales and across the border into Cheshire and the North West.
“There are just not enough skilled workers at present, so that area of the company has had a very busy period.”
“This is brilliant for us, but also reflects the success of many of our clients and candidates.”
The market has changed, according to Sarah, who revealed there is a much more candidate-driven climate in recruiting, with firms having to work harder than ever to attract the best employees.
Meanwhile, recent studies have also found there is an epic dearth of workers in catering and hospitality.
An IHS Markit/REC Report on Jobs in 2018 found these sectors had the most pronounced increase in demand for short-term staff in the UK, based on survey data provided by recruitment consultancies.
That falls in line with the pattern globally, with 41% of recruitment professionals citing “talent shortage” as their top challenge last year, according to a study by Bullhorn, a company providing data systems for more than 8,000 recruitment agencies across the world.
Their study also found 70% were concerned about the impact Brexit will have on their business.
“Brexit has of course led to a lot of uncertainty, but from our viewpoint on the ground in North Wales there has been no slowdown in the amount of companies recruiting.
“From large multinational companies like Qioptiq and Survitec to smaller SMEs we are working with organisations that are growing all the time, and that’s heartening to see.
“Watching industries and companies expand is a positive, but they have to have the right staff in place to continue that growth and be sustainable, which is where we come in.
“They need the right candidates, and that’s something we pride ourselves on, finding the right fit for them, and of course the individual.”
“The world of recruitment is a little like some of the industries I’ve mentioned, it’s up and down and you never know what will be thrown at you next.
“But we are in a good place, and the reason we are one of the region’s biggest independent recruiters and have been around as a company since 1980 is our commitment to North Wales and our clients and candidates nationwide.
“The demand in these areas looks set to continue, and we will be on hand to help them cope with the challenges ahead.”