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The North sees jobs growth and wasted potential of some workers

Authored by Phil Meekin

Phil Meekin

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Approximate read time: 4 minutes

New research from UK job website, CV-Library, has found that Yorkshire is currently one of the best regions to be looking for a job right now. Sheffield and Leeds come near the top of a list of the top locations in the UK to look for a job currently. These findings come as companies and recruiters across the UK were preparing for the September recruitment rush.

The number of jobs on offer in key cities across the UK has been growing for a while with Bristol topping the pile with a 45.3% growth in vacancies being advertised; this is followed by Sheffield at 42.5%, Glasgow at 37.8% and Leeds at 34.4%.

This research is based on job vacancy numbers in key cities from this year and last year and it does point to significant growth across many cities, particularly in the North of England. It also comes on the back of national jobs growth of 10.7% in the number of job vacancies year-on-year.

Industries such as social care, manufacturing and accounting have seen a growth in the number of job opportunities in their sector whilst recruitment, the automotive industry and the construction industry have also seen growth in the number of jobs advertised year-on-year.

Founder and managing director of CV-Library, Lee Biggins, said; “While August is typically a quieter month for applications, it’s clear from our findings that candidate appetite is showing no signs of slowing down, which means competition for roles could get fierce this month…”

“If you’ve recently graduated or you’re looking for your next career move, now is the perfect time to ramp-up your job search, with so many exciting opportunities across the UK’s key cities and industries.”

WF jobs growth wasted potential content

However, while unemployment continues to fall and job vacancies in many cities and sectors grow, a new report from the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) has found that UK businesses are failing to invest in their workforces and new technology. 

Based on their research, they feel that the potential of the bottom fifth of the country’s workforce is being ‘wasted’ due to lack of training and opportunities for progression on offer in their current roles. The CSJ says this is likely to be a cause of the UK’s current sluggish growth in productivity.

The CSJ claims that the lack of investment and vocational training in UK schools is preventing workers, usually those from disadvantaged backgrounds, from making the most of their abilities. The authors of the report are calling for changes to be made to help provide more routes from education to employment and kick-start productivity growth in the UK.

The report is supported by economist and former adviser to Boris Johnson, Gerard Lyons, who said; “In the UK we’ve got a great position on employment, it’s high, unemployment is very low, but what we need to do is get the productivity side up. What this report really highlights is companies don’t invest enough, we’re not innovating enough.”

The apprenticeship levy, which was launched by former chancellor George Osborne when he was in office, came into effect earlier this year as a way to ensure businesses invest in their staff and school leavers receive the support and skills they need to get into the world of work.

The levy requires businesses over a certain size to create apprenticeships in return for funding from the state. The current government has backed this up with their pledge to introduce so-called “T-Levels” which focus on vocational education in schools.

However, Lord Knight, schools minister for the Labour government between 2006 and 2009, said the government needs to be doing more to help workers and school leavers to reverse the stagnating productivity growth in the UK.

He said; “Many employers are doing their best. What I don’t see is enough coherence and enough investment from government itself in adult skills generally and in a coherent offer in schools in developing the whole person rather than just the academic person.

“Young people are forced into a narrower diet in the curriculum at the expense of the more creative, technical and applied parts of the curriculum. Design and technology which is a really important skill for economy has had a 43% fall in those taking it to GCSE in last six years.”

Despite the rise in the number of jobs available on the market, the UK is still suffering from a productivity crisis which many believe could be turned around by investment in training and better development for students, school leavers and those already in work.

By focusing on the training of students and the workforce, we are likely to create a more skilled workforce who are likely to grow and develop to their full potential to the benefit of UK businesses and the UK economy over the coming years.

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