The North West has some of the worst job prospects in the country as companies delay hiring while they wait to see what happens with Brexit, according to the latest Employment Outlook Survey from ManpowerGroup.
Based on responses from 2,101 UK employers, the survey has revealed that companies in the North West are putting the brakes on their hiring plans over the summer months as businesses face the prospect of having to stretch salaries to attract the people they need in a candidate-driven market despite many grappling with skills shortages.
Assessing whether employers intend to hire additional workers or reduce the size of their workforce in the coming quarter, ManpowerGroup's survey is the most comprehensive, forward-looking employment survey of its kind and is used as a key economic statistic by both the Bank of England and the UK Government.
“While the growing uncertainty surrounding the UK’s departure from the European Union has continued to put a strain on hiring plans, employers in the North West are also contending with a deepening skills gap," explained Jason Greaves, director at ManpowerGroup. "The talent shortage has affected key sectors such as energy and the contact centre industry, with companies in the region left battling for the best candidates.
“In response, employers across the North West have turned their attention to hiring more permanent roles in a bid to up-skill their staff in line with demand," Jason added. "However, in this candidate-short market, employers must secure the best talent quickly in order to avoid losing out to competitors.
"This is an added challenge for companies, with the best candidates often having the pick of several different jobs or temporary assignments at any one time. As a result, businesses within the region are stretching salaries and benefits packages to attract top talent.”
With Britain's withdrawal from the EU originally pencilled in for March, companies front-loaded activity in the first half of the year in anticipation of more turbulent market conditions later on, but the now-prolonged deadline has shifted stockpiling down the agenda for many businesses.