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Skills shortage forces firms to increase salary offers in bid to attract candidates

By Alan Jones

Two out of five employers facing problems recruiting workers have increased the pay on offer, according to a new business survey. A minority lowered requirements for the role, the poll of 600 employers by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) found.

Skills shortages continue to be a major concern for firms, with half expecting a shortage of candidates for permanent jobs in the next three months.

A third of those questioned in the survey said that they have no spare capacity and will need to take on new staff if demand increases.

REC chief executive Kevin Green said: "If you're ready and willing to move jobs, you could benefit from an increase in pay as many employers are increasing starting salaries to attract candidates with the qualities that they're looking for.

"However, throwing money at the problem isn't a long-term solution for employers, as they compete with each other for the available talent.

"We need to train people up by embedding employability skills in schools, providing effective careers guidance and promoting apprenticeships."

He added: "The short supply of skilled candidates is likely to get worse. Many sectors of the economy are dependent on EU workers.

"The Government has got to design an immigration system which enables businesses to fill the roles they have available and also keeps public services up and running."

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