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Engineering skills shortages intensify: Data shows job applications tumbling

Following a tumultuous period in the first half of the year which saw engineering vacancy numbers shift drastically month-on-month, the summer period saw jobs grow steadily, peaking in August before beginning to slow as September’s economic uncertainty began. That’s according to the latest analysis by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).

The data, provided by the network of job boards, Broadbean Technology, showed that vacancies across the engineering sector increased 11% between June and August before eventually slowing, dropping 2% between August and October. This slowdown in recruitment activity as economic uncertainty began to impact the UK, saw vacancy levels drop 1% in October when compared to January.

While the growth in jobs has stalled, the analysis suggests skills are still in short supply, with the number of people applying for engineering roles dropping 44% between January and October. With staff in short supply and the country being hit by a cost-of-living crisis, it’s no surprise to note that average salaries across engineering have increased throughout the year. Pay increased steadily between January and July, up 4% during this period while October saw a 1% increase in remuneration for engineering roles.

Ann Swain, Global CEO of APSCo commented: “We’ve seen demand for engineering professionals increase steadily since June having gone through peaks and troughs in the first half of the year. Pay has also increased consistently as this demand for talent grows. However, the data shows that applications continue to fall, largely driven by engineering skills shortages. The drop in the number of people applying for work in October does, however, indicate a possible reluctance to move jobs in an uncertain economic climate. It’s crucial that the government enacts policies that will bring stability for workers, including announcing the long-awaited Employment Bill and revising policies to better recognise and support the unique needs of the highly skilled contractor labour market.”

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