Scotland business

Recruitment body says Brexit 'could worsen staff shortages'

Engineering training Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A Markit report suggested engineering and construction saw the biggest rise in demand for temporary workers last month

Brexit could exacerbate shortages of suitable candidates for jobs, a recruitment body has warned.

The warning from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) came as a Markit survey showed growth in demand for staff in Scotland.

REC said a lack of "appropriately-skilled" candidates had been a problem before last year's EU referendum.

It said Brexit could make things worse, especially if people coming from the EU to work faced "onerous restrictions".

REC chief executive Kevin Green said: "Finding people to do the jobs on offer is rapidly becoming employers' biggest headache and many are reporting an increasing number of white collar jobs as hard to fill, including in the IT and financial sectors."

The latest Markit Report on Jobs for Scotland found an increase in the number of permanent staff appointments for the second month running in March.

There was also a rise in temporary placements, which showed the sharpest increase since August 2014.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The report found that the nursing/medical/care sector led growth in demand for permanent staff last month

Demand for permanent staff rose at the quickest rate for 25 months, while Scottish recruiters reported the steepest increase in demand for temporary staff since September 2014.

The nursing/medical/care sector led growth in demand for permanent staff, while engineering and construction saw the biggest rise in demand for temporary workers.

The hotel and catering industry was the worst performer, and was placed at the bottom of the rankings in terms of both temporary and permanent job vacancies.

Average wages for temporary/contract staff rose sharply in March, while average salaries for permanent staff also increased markedly.

'Shrinking talent pool'

Mr Green said: "This shrinking talent pool of available candidates means that businesses are boosting the starting salaries and hourly rates they are prepared to offer to the right candidate.

"So for job hunters willing to move roles at the moment, there are financial rewards on offer - especially it seems in finance, IT and other management and office-based professional roles."

The Markit report was based on information provided by a panel of about 100 recruitment consultancies operating in Scotland.

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