UK employers downbeat over recruitment prospects

The latest quarterly Labour Market Outlook from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) reveals that UK employers have become much more pessimistic about recruitment prospects.

Prospects for the next three months have fallen to their lowest level since the survey began two years ago, with only a third of employers expecting staff numbers to increase in the next three months.

While the jobs slowdown continues, UK employers seem as keen as ever to recruit migrant workers – particularly from EU accession countries. This represents a shift from last year’s survey which showed that employers were shunning workers from accession states in favour of ‘old Europe’ and the rest of the world.

In the latest survey, a quarter of employers intend to hire migrant workers this winter, with more than 10% of UK organisations saying that they will step up their efforts to recruit migrant workers in the next year. Public sector employers (26%) and employers in London (35%) are those most likely to recruit migrants.

CIPD chief economist, John Philpott, said: “The influx of Eastern European migrant workers shows no sign of waning and probably explains why the unemployment claimant count of people on jobseekers allowance has increased this year, paradoxically alongside an increase in employment.

The survey also reveals that UK employers rate migrant workers relatively highly compared with other jobseekers, such as the long-term unemployed and people on incapacity benefit.

Philpott said the equipping the long-term unemployed with the skills to make them attractive to employers should be a key plank of the government’s welfare reform programme, alongside the much needed changes to incapacity benefit.

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