Vacancies galore in sales and service roles

More than four in 10 of the 3.4 million vacancies successfully filled each year in the UK are in service roles – such as bar staff, packers and unskilled labourers, sales and customer services occupations, research reveals.

The survey of 4,500 UK employers, by Jobcentre Plus, shows that interpersonal and teamwork skills were the most critical skills required for these occupations, closely followed by verbal communications and motivation and flexibility.

Further findings showed that 559,000 employers recruited or tried to recruit in 2004, representing about a quarter of all establishments in the UK.

Employers advertised a total of 4 million vacancies in 2004, 86% of which were successfully filled.

Although the majority (60%) of vacancies advertised were with medium-sized employers with between 10 and 250 employees, small employers accounted for more  than half (52%) of the organisations who were trying to recruit.

Large employers with more than 250 employees accounted for 23% of vacancies advertised and small employers with 10 or fewer employees for only 17%.

Cay Stratton, director at the National Employment Panel, said: “What is interesting about these findings is that for each type of occupation, whether it is the more qualified professionals or the unskilled workers, similar skills come up time and time again.

“Interpersonal and teamwork skills and motivation and flexibility are considered critical for almost every occupation – these are skills which can be learned and often require a commitment from the employer to encourage a culture of teamwork which in turn will motivate employees.”

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