With the UK economy growing at a record pace, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for companies to find skilled workers in sectors from construction to IT. This has been especially evident with a large national shortfall of hauliers and experienced lorry drivers. With the estimated 100,000 empty vacancies for HGV drivers, businesses have reported difficulties in getting supplies delivered.
Exacerbated by COVID, the ‘pingdemic’ coupled with new red tape for UK-EU travel has added additional pressure on companies to find staff. With a significant backlog in terms of approving new drivers with driving licences coupled with record demand for products, retail in particular has been affected.
Other sectors including food & drink are also finding it difficult to recruit seasonal staff as the British staycation summer leads to higher demand, and with no end in sight on global travel restrictions, staff shortages could continue well until the end of the year.
However, the news was not all bad, as the growing momentum for the economy has led to a rapid fall in unemployment. This is set to help Britain emerge from the worst recession since WW2, and provide a much needed rebound to bring industries back after long periods of inactivity.
While challenges remain for companies to find workers, workers have started to benefit from increased wages, leading to above inflation salary increases.
As Britain recovers from the pandemic, there is optimism that the short term shortages can be overcome, with new visa schemes and potentially faster government backed programmes to assist with staff training.