The global pandemic has hit every business, across every sector, hard. Unemployment is at an all-time high; however, millions of jobs have been protected and supported during this time with the Coronavirus job retention scheme. (A temporary initiative provided to employers to gain access to financial support to pay part of their employee’s wages, rather than making staff redundant.)
As the economy begins its journey to recover and rebuild, it will be vital to support those hardest hit by rising unemployment levels.
The government is currently working to support the economic recovery of millions of businesses throughout the UK. Of course, as expected, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to a robust recovery plan; however, targeted action is needed now if our economy is to survive and rebuild for the future.
The length of time it takes for recovery will depend on a variety of factors. Factors such as volume of people shopping locally, number of people claiming out of work benefits, the number of people currently on furlough and supported by the job retention scheme, meeting the ever-increasing skills shortages, and more.
Britain’s unemployment rate
Despite COVID restrictions, unemployment in the UK is beginning to fall as employers continue to support their business growth and prepare for the future, and individuals upskill, retrain, and look to enter new sectors and take on a new career path.
This shift in the recent unemployment figures shows a positive move to more stable conditions with more job vacancies becoming available and actively advertised.
As further action will be required once the original furlough scheme ends in September, businesses can expect to boost their recruitment and retention through temporary relief in employer national insurance contributions.
What does this mean going forward?
Currently, the number of fire and security engineer roles advertised is 439.9% higher than last year with over 770 current vacancies!
This is great news as we see the demand for skilled workers within these roles consistently increasing as employers see the benefits these roles bring to business and also the career opportunities these roles offer those entering the market.
Businesses are now actively looking to increase their labour spend, adding to their teams and growing their business.
It’s interesting to note that fire and security roles in London and the South East in particular, are vastly increasing in popularity.
However, as these roles continue to grow it is widely recognised that the skills gap within the sector is also widening, making it vital that both candidates and employers understand the strategic direction of their business and their careers.
Initiatives to tackle UK unemployment and the skills shortage
The UK Government is actively looking at ways to boost business confidence in the labour market while managing skills shortages across various sectors – the fire and security sector being one such industry.
It’s important to attract new entrants to the market, encourage the take-up of recognised qualification routes, and build greater awareness of the fire and security industry as a whole.
One such initiative is a boost to those taking up apprenticeships with the Department for Education encouraging employers to help manage the skills shortage by taking on apprentices and accepting the cash incentive offered by the government to do so.
It is widely recognised how much value an apprentice can bring to an organisation and the economy.
Within the Fire and Security industry apprenticeships are seen as a great way for experienced engineers to pass on their years of experience and expertise to new entrants.
This is why a £2,000 incentive is now being offered to employers who hire an apprentice aged between 16 – 24.
For apprentices aged 25 and over, an incentive of £1,500 is available.
To ensure a good provision of learning, employers will receive the payment in two parts, the first at day 90 and the second at day 365. Funding is paid via The Apprenticeship Service portal.
Secure and Recruit
At Secure and Recruit, we’re excited to see growth in the sector during this time.
Specialising in recruitment for the fire and security industry if you have a vacancy to fill give us a call today on 01480 275 700.
We have the exceptional talent ready and waiting to fill those fire and security jobs, providing a partnership approach to recruitment where we become an extension to your business.
Put our recruitment skills to the test today, call us on 01480 275 700.