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Northern Powerhouse: Challenges and Opportunities for UK Recruiters

5 minutes

It’s been impossible to ignore the current buzz surrounding the Government’s Northern Powerh...

It’s been impossible to ignore the current buzz surrounding the Government’s Northern Powerhouse initiative. Cities like Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, and Sheffield will merge into an economic hub where, instead of working independently, join together to create a ‘powerhouse’ to rival London.

This presents the recruitment industry with a number of challenges, as well as the opportunity for growth which isn’t exclusive to specialists in the north.

Bringing together northern cities with plans for a high-speed rail network, as well as further bolstering the rail links between London and Manchester, increases the number of commutable roles across the country.

Joining northern cities means businesses will recruit from a bigger talent pool, especially with plans for a high-speed rail network linking Leeds and Manchester. 100,000 more jobs will be created and will bring over £18bn to the region by 2030, cementing a real opportunity for recruitment specialists to grow with roles all over the UK becoming easily accessible.

However, this growth is not without its challenges and some are presenting themselves already. The job opportunities are certainly increasing, but a lot of firms in the digital sector are finding there’s a shortage of talent. In fact, a recent survey by Manchester Digital revealed that businesses are having to turn away work because they cannot recruit at the same rate they are winning business. It’s not just the digital sector facing a skills crisis, with IT and engineering struggling to recruit the right people too, which is proving to seriously hamper business growth plans.

Of course, solving the problem of a skills gap is not the sole responsibility of recruitment specialists to fix; the Government needs to step in and formally address this and put a solid plan in place. However, there are several things recruitment specialists can do to ensure they can continue supplying their clients with the skills and talent they need.

Mark Mitchell, CEO of Meridian Business Support has a long-term solution for the growing skills gap: “Recruitment specialists must work closely with businesses to come up with a tangible solution to face the complex and fast-moving world of technology. This would involve getting closer to schools and colleges to offer skills training and advice about the current job market across the UK and highlight the possibilities in particular areas. With these resources available, young people entering the world of work will be better-informed and be able to choose their area of study based on skills shortages for a better chance of securing employment.

“Despite the skills shortage, Northern Powerhouse plans present a huge opportunity for businesses all over the UK to expand their client and candidate portfolio, further bolstering the impressive growth figures in this sector.”

Source: Executive Grapevine