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Responding to the latest labour market data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Tania Bowers, Global Public Policy Director at the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) commented:

“The fact that the human health and social work sector reported the greatest quarterly growth in vacancy numbers – up 15% - is certainly a concern. Following the mandated vaccine requirements introduced into the social care sector, this uptick in vacancies does indicate that employers in this field are struggling to replace the resources they’ve lost so far.

“The quarterly increase in the employment rate shown by the latest Labour Market ONS stats indicates that the furlough scheme did indeed retain jobs for much of the UK, with no obvious decline in employment numbers in the months following the end of the scheme. However, while this uptick in employment and drop in unemployment is encouraging, it does add to the already noted skills shortages across the UK.

“The country is facing a significant dearth of talent in a post-Brexit, Covid hit environment – and the current make-up of the immigration system doesn’t enable the creation of a dynamic and flexible workforce to the extent that is needed. There is currently no viable visa route into the UK for highly-skilled independent professionals. Without this, the UK will continue to face significant staff shortages that could hinder economic growth.”


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