Friday, February 3, 2023

More needs to be done to fill UK’s million-plus job vacancies, says BCC

New figures about the UK’s labour market come as no surprise to business or the British Chambers of Commerce as the fight goes on to get people into job vacancies, says the organisation.

Jane Gratton, Head of People Policy at the BCC, says the labour market remains tight, with the consequence that if firms can’t hire the staff to fulfil their order books, any room for growth is extremely limited.

She said Government was heading in the right direction with its plans to help bring economically inactive workers back into the labour force, especially older workers who left in their droves when lockdown ended – but that wasn’t enough.

But we need to see more action. There must be carefully tailored careers advice, job seeker support and rapid re-training opportunities to help employers harness the skills and experience of older workers.

Businesses also need to play their part, by engaging with local skills and employment opportunities, adopting flexible working policies where possible and helping older workers develop their skills for the changing workforce.

“Finally, Government must hear our calls to urgently reform the Shortage Occupation List to help businesses fill urgent job vacancies when they cannot recruit locally. The List should include job roles below RQF Level 3 for sectors where there is clear evidence of a national shortage.

The UK’s tight labour market is one of the top challenges preventing our businesses and economy from growing. It’s no use simply talking about growth if we are not prepared to take action on it.

With an anaemic economy and low productivity, Government must take immediate steps to ease the considerable labour pressures on businesses – we can’t afford to wait any longer.

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