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“Wanted: Scientists in Cambridge” as Talent Crunch hits UK Cities


Jobs in sectors like Science and Healthcare could well be sitting open on the jobs market for months as employers struggle for skilled applicants, according to new research by job search engine Adzuna.

The study, conducted in May 2017, analysed the proportion of advertised jobs lying unfilled after 90 days, to shine a light on the talent crunch currently gripping some of the UK’s regions, cities and sectors.

Over a fifth (21.2%) of Science & QA jobs currently on the market remain unfilled on after 90 days, followed by 9.5% of Healthcare & Nursing vacancies, as these sectors struggle for skilled workers.

This is hitting some cities particularly hard. Employers in STEM hubs like Cambridge and Brighton are struggling in particular, with 6.3% and 6.2% of jobs in these cities sitting unfilled for 90 days respectively. However, it is ‘Benefits Street’ Middlesbrough where jobs remain on the market for longest, with 6.31% of positions still open after three months on the market.

On a regional basis, London is suffering the most from the talent drought, with 5.5% of positions unfilled after 90 days, followed by Eastern England (4.9%), the North East (4.9%) and the South East (4.8%).

Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna, commented:

“Some areas of the jobs market have clearly fallen victim to a talent shortage – which has only been worsened by Brexit uncertainty. A vacancy lying open for three months or more means a job needed but not done – an employer’s nightmare – seriously dampening prospects for our STEM hubs like Cambridge. Never has it been more important to focus on up-skilling home-grown talent for our shortage sectors. Reassuring overseas talent about their long-term prospects in the UK would also take some of the pressure off these struggling areas.”

Graduates may be one group who can benefit from the talent drought, however. The stats show 7.4% of grad vacancies remain unfilled after 90 days – making it one of the Top 5 sectors struggling most for staff – suggesting students graduating this summer will be in an advantageous position when looking for work.

Flexibility tops the jobseekers’ wish list

Part-time positions are currently the most sought-after, with only 0.2% of roles remaining unfilled after 90 days, followed by Energy, Oil & Gas (0.8%) and Teaching (1.6%).

The financial and professional services sectors are also thriving. Only 2.5% of Accounting & Finance jobs remain unfilled after 90 days, followed by Legal (2.5%) and Consultancy (2.6%) roles.

Across the UK, Northern Ireland and Yorkshire are seeing jobs filled most quickly, with 89% of jobs filled within 90 days in both regions.

At a city level, unemployment hotspots Chester and Belfast saw roles fill fastest, both seeing 91% of advertised positions snapped up within 90 days.

Table 1: Top 5 Sectors Struggling to Fill Job Vacancies

Sector % job vacancies still open after 90 days
Science & QA 21.2%
Healthcare & Nursing 9.5%
Domestic Help & Cleaning 7.7%
Graduate 7.4%
Creative & Design 7.0%

Table 2: Top 5 Strongest Sectors for Filling Job Vacancies

Sector % job vacancies filled within  90 days
Part-time 97.8%
Charity & Voluntary 96.1%
Property 95.2%
PR, Advertising & Marketing 94.0%
Manufacturing 93.9%

Table 3: % Job Vacancies Still Open After 90 Days – By Region

Region % job vacancies still open after 90 days
London 5.5%
Eastern England 4.9%
North East 4.9%
South East 4.8%
Scotland 4.8%
South West 4.6%
West Midlands 4.6%
Wales 4.3%
North West 4.0%
East Midlands 3.9%
Yorkshire & Humber 3.5%
Northern Ireland 3.2%

Table 4: Top 5 Cities Struggling to Fill Job Vacancies

Region % job vacancies still open after 90 days
Middlesbrough 6.3%
Cambridge 6.3%
Brighton 6.2%
Southend-on-sea 6.0%
Sunderland 6.0%

Table 5: Top 5 Strongest Cities for Filling Job Vacancies

Region % job vacancies filled within 90 days
Chester 90.8%
Belfast 90.7%
Exeter 90.1%
High-Wycombe 89.9%
Oxford 89.8%


During Nathan’s early career, he gained considerable experience from across many industries including Sales, Teaching and Retail, however more recently Nathan has delved into the world Digital Marketing and Publishing. Drawing on his past experiences, Nathan brings all aspects of his knowledge into Recruitment Buzz, possessing great research and social media skills.

Born and bred in Wales, Nathan is as Welsh as they come – living in the heart of the Valleys, Nathan proudly takes place as our resident Welsh speaker. However, Nathan’s knowledge of global understanding exceeds the Welsh borders, having lived in London, parts of the US and Ecuador.

Nathan is a self-proclaimed geek, having gained a degree in Natural Science via the Open University in Wales. In addition to his passion for science, he has a love for technology, nature, art and of course football!


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