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Advertised vacancies defy economic uncertainty to hit post-recession high in September

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Highlights
• Total advertised vacancies reach a post-crisis high in September, with 906,191 available advertised vacancies, up 27.5% from September 2013, but signals emerging that hiring growth is slowing
• Advertised salaries rise 2% year-on-year in September to £34,695, outpacing CPI inflation of 1.7%
• Competition for jobs falls to post-recession low, with 1.02 jobseekers for every advertised vacancy in September, compared to 1.86 in September 2013
• Thirty cities in the UK now have more vacancies than jobseekers, as recovery spreads out across the nation
• Customer Service sector surges ahead, with advertised vacancies up 6% since June 2014

Total advertised vacancies reached a post-recession high in September, buoyed by retailers with one eye on the festive period, according to the latest UK Job Market Report from Adzuna.co.uk.

The number of advertised vacancies in the UK rose 27.5% to 906,191 in September, up from 710,859 in September 2013. It marked the highest number of total advertised vacancies since the recession, and the fourth consecutive month of growth.

Advertised salaries also reached a post-recession high, growing 2% year-on-year in September. The UK’s average advertised salary now stands at £34,695, compared to £34,005 a year ago. Annual salary growth outpaced CPI inflation (1.7%) for the second consecutive month; in real terms advertised salaries grew by £260 over the last year.

Jobseeker competition also declined significantly in the last twelve months. The ratio of jobseekers to vacancies fell from 1.86 in September 2013 to 1.02 in September 2014.

Table 1:

August 2014 September 2014 Monthly Change Annual change from September 2013

UK Vacancies 905,297 906,191 +0.1% +27.5%
Jobseekers per Vacancy 1.06 1.02 -0.04% -45.3%
Av. Advertised UK Salary £34,463 £34,695 +0.7% +2.0%

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, explains: “The cautious green shoots of job market growth are now beginning to firmly take root as businesses revel in new-found economic confidence. The number of vacancies on offer is rapidly expanding, and UK vacancies crossed the one million mark in the last few days, which bodes well for vacancy levels in October. At the same time unemployment has fallen to below two million: its lowest level since 2008. That potent combination of factors is catalysing a recovery in salaries – as employers raise wages in order to attract the talent they need to respond to an uptick in business demand. Employers are also increasingly aware of the bounty of opportunities available to existing employees looking to move jobs, and are handing out pay rises to prevent talent falling through the cracks.”

Monthly slowdown

Despite annual improvements, there are some initial signs that rate of the job market recovery is starting to slow. Advertised vacancies grew 0.1% month-on-month in September, much lower than the 3.7% monthly growth witnessed in August. Advertised salary growth of 0.7% between August and September was the slowest monthly growth since May 2014.

At the same time, much of the vacancy growth is being driven by part-time workers. There are currently 6.8m British employees in part-time work, the highest figure on record.

Andrew Hunter comments on signs of a vacancy growth slowdown: “The job market recovery may be starting to plateau following a period of huge improvements. Part of this problem is a weakening global economy. The Eurozone is starting to falter, and may have a weakening effect on our own recovery. The markets are giving us clear warning signs that tougher economic times are ahead, and we many have to rein in our expectations for the coming months.

“Positive vacancy growth is also masking an underlying trend to part-time work. There are more opportunities on offer than a year ago, but more of these are part-time positions offered to satisfy the seasonal rush, with many companies taking on tens of thousands of extra staff to cater for Christmas demand. Zero hours contracts are also propping up the vacancy count.”

Customer Service surge takes off

The Customer Service sector has already begun to show signs that the Christmas period is approaching as both salaries and vacancies surge. Since the beginning of summer, Customer Service vacancies have grown 6% from 20,250 in June to 21,423 in September. At the same time, advertised salaries have also risen in the sector. The average advertised salary for Customer Service workers rose 11.7% year-on-year to £21,685 in September.

This increase in Customer Service roles has been buoyed by growing consumer confidence, as wages pick up and spending power grows. Royal Mail and Amazon have announced they will create 32,000 temporary jobs over the seasonal period to keep up with the consumer demand.

The concerns around a skill shortage were amplified in September as advertised salaries in the Trade & Construction sector increased 9.8% year-on-year. The lack of skilled personnel in the construction industry is forcing wages higher as contractors and suppliers tussle for workers. Since January 2014, Trade & Construction jobs have increased by 68% as the industries try to expand, but filling these roles has become troublesome.

Table 2: Biggest improvers – Job sector by average salary

Job Sector Average Salary Salary % change 12 months

Customer Service Jobs £21,685 +11.7%
Manufacturing Jobs £30,654 +10.0%
Trade & Construction Jobs £37,625 +9.8%
IT Jobs £45,926 +8.7%
Scientific & QA Jobs £37,948 +7.8%

Commenting on the performance of these sectors, Andrew Hunter explains: “Low inflation, wages picking up and growing economic confidence has become a winning combination for the Customer Service sector. Most importantly, consumers with more money to spend are creating a need for a variety of jobs, stretching from retail to product manufacturing. The sluggish salary growth many have endured since the financial crisis is beginning to wear off, giving us more money to spend in the shops during seasonal months.

“But we must not take our eye off the ball when it comes to the skills shortage. The UK is already beginning to feel the pinch from a lack of highly trained workers in sectors such as construction. If we are to see future economic expansion then we much put all our energies in creating the skilled workers of tomorrow, who are desperately needed today.”

UK cities prosper

Thirty UK cities now boast more vacancies than jobseekers as the economic recovery surges in many major conurbations. The cities experiencing this growth surge are geographically diverse. Cities in the North such as Warrington and Manchester are performing as well as London and the South East, showing the recovery is being felt up and down the country. Aberdeen continued its strong economic performance by leading Scotland’s vacancies to job seekers ratio and coming sixth nationally.

More positive news for the North continued as both the North East and Yorkshire and The Humber experienced far higher year-on-year average salary growth than London and the South East.

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, comments: “The northern powerhouses our politicians seem so desperate to see are beginning to pick up pace in economic growth. Although starting from a low base due to particular hardship after the recession, it is encouraging to see more good news for the North.

“We still have a long way to go until we see a truly geographically balanced economy, but renewed infrastructure efforts in the North will help. In the meantime, expect the gap continuing to close at a steady rate as London’s salary growth remains sluggish.”

Table 3:

Region Average salary Annual change

Wales £30,351 +15.8%
North East England £30,316 +8.0%
Northern Ireland £29,682 +8.0%
South West England £31,691 +7.5%
Yorkshire and The Humber £30,558 +7.2%
North West England £30,818 +5.9%
West Midlands £31,667 +5.4%
East Midlands £30,470 +3.9%
Eastern England £32,406 +2.9%
UK £34,463 +2.0%
South East England £32,798 +1.9%
London £42,747 +1.6%
Scotland £33,067 -0.7%

 

Survey of 9,000 employees reveals Top 60 best employers in hospitality

Caterer.com Best Employers in Hospitality Awards 2014 winners announced

Some of the largest hospitality employers in the UK gathered at Lancaster London this week to attend the Caterer.com Best Employer in Hospitality Awards 2014.

URBAN LEISURE GROUP NO 1 BEST EMPLOYER IN HOSPITALITY 2014

The 17 category winners announced by TV personality Sue Perkins included Marston’s Inns & Taverns, YO! Sushi, The Rezidor Hotel Group, Accent Catering Services, Liverpool FC Hospitality & Events, Nadler Hotels, De Vere Venues and Peach Pub Company, whilst dynamic independent bar company Urban Leisure Group taking home the top prize of No1 Best Employer in Hospitality 2014.

We have tried our hardest to develop an environment where each individual member of staff can flourish and this is just reward for everyone’s efforts,” said Operations Director Adrian Hartley of Urban Leisure Group

aHat

9,000 hospitality employees give their opinion

Now in their fourth successful year, Caterer.com’s Best Employers in Hospitality Awards are the only established, recognised and free to enter employer awards in the hospitality industry. The awards are judged solely on employee responses to an online engagement survey provided by engagement experts People Insight, which gauges how well employers support, develop and reward their people.

Hundreds of employers entered the awards and almost 9,000 employees completed the survey, with 60 employers gaining an engagement score high enough to allow them into the Top 60 Best Employers in Hospitality 2014. Each of these employers will receive a free engagement report from People Insight, detailing their results.

500 hospitality professionals, including teams from the shortlisted entries, attended the awards to celebrate the success of the best employers in the business. The awards were sponsored and supported by Part & Company, Careers in Hospitality at The Hospitality Show, The Vine King, Macarto Direct, HotCatUK, HR in hospitality and Peppersmith.

Recruitment specialists Part & Company sponsor the Independent Employer categories across all sectors at the awards. Simon Part, Managing Director commented on their involvement:

This is our third year as sponsors at Caterer.com’s Best Employers in Hospitality Awards, supporting all the Independent Employer categories, across all sectors. We predominantly work with independent businesses and know that whilst they can offer the most fantastic careers, they are sometimes overlooked by candidates. For this reason, it’s really important to us to champion and recognise the Best Independent Employers in Hospitality and to acknowledge the great work they do through these prestigious awards. Congratulations to all the shortlisted and winning employers!”

Results show all hospitality sectors offer enjoyable and rewarding careers

People Insight provided the online employee engagement survey through which the awards were judged. Managing Director Tom Debenham said the results proved that the hospitality sector had revolutionised the way it treated its workforce.

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75% of UK workers are too scared to complain about poor health and safety

Health and safety whistle-blowers ‘fear the sack’ Climate of fear surrounds workplace safety – even for trivial problems

Three-quarters of British workers are too scared to complain about workplace safety because they fear that rocking the boat could cost them their jobs or promotion prospects.

The fear of singling yourself out as a “trouble maker” means that dangerous situations in factories, shops and offices often go unreported, a major health and safety law consultancy says.

According to the Protecting.co.uk legal company, this climate of fear surrounding a national decrease in job security could result in workplace accidents, injuries and possibly fatalities.

“We’ve spoken in confidence to hundreds of workers right across the country,” says Protecting.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall, “And the recurring theme is that reporting a safety problem is a real taboo in work places – even for the most trivial of complaints.”

Protecting.co.uk surveyed 1600 employees in offices, factories, shops and public service across the United Kingdom and found:

  • 74% would be afraid to report a health and safety problem at work
  • This rose to 81% if it were something they thought trivial, such as a broken chair or a ripped carpet
  • 53% wouldn’t report a serious H&S problem such as an electrical fault or broken machinery in somebody else’s work area
  • 21% wouldn’t report a serious H&S problem such as an electrical fault or broken machinery in their own work area

The reasons given included:

  • Afraid of losing my job
  • Worried about promotion prospects
  • Worried about missing out on a pay rise
  • Don’t want to be labelled a trouble maker

“It’s a sad indictment of the way workplace relations have deteriorated in recent years,” says Mark Hall of Protecting.co.uk, “Employees feel they have far less job security, and would prefer to keep their heads down, even if it meant exposing themselves to danger.”

Protecting.co.uk says that media reports of whistle-blowers losing their jobs or being treated appallingly by their bosses deters people from speaking out themselves. However rare these stories, their relatively high profile – especially in public service employment such as hospitals – means that fewer people are likely to report dangers to their managers.

“We heard a lot of anecdotal evidence about people getting into trouble for complaining,” says Hall, “The survey turned up dozens of friend-of-a-friend stories that may or may not be true, but they do the rounds and scare people into silence.”

Recent changes to employment law has also deterred employees from rocking the boat over safety, Hall says. Increased fees and more complex access to Employment Tribunals mean that the number of people using the service has fallen by 59% in the last year.

“People are just too scared to take on their bosses,” says Hall. “Be it over pay, unfair dismissal, or health and safety, it’s suddenly become very hard to defend your rights.”

Protecting thinks safety in the work place is too important to be ignored, and calls for an end to this climate of fear.

“Safety shouldn’t be ignored. Workers at any level in a company should be encouraged to speak out, not fear for their livelihoods.”

For more information please contact mark on 07841779892 or protecting@disturb.co.uk

Protecting.co.uk is a national health and safety law consultancy that aims dump the jargon and get Britain’s businesses up to code with a no-nonsense, transparent approach.

The company employs six NEBOSH (National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health) accredited staff, and hopes to

Website: http://protecting.co.uk

Twitter @ProtectingUK

Source: Big fall in employment tribunals – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-27807516

Has remote working gone too far or not far enough?

Mother and baby in home office with laptop

Has remote working gone too far or not far enough?
Despite some firms pulling remote workers back to the office, experts find a revolution in where, when and how people work is underway

When Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer issued an ultimatum to the company’s remote workers – return to the office or quit – it sparked a debate over whether new ways of working have gone too far. Some critics claimed organisations had allowed people to become too disconnected. Others feared remote working was killing collaboration and the ad hoc exchange of knowledge.

But new evidence suggests agile working isn’t about to disappear. In fact, two experts predict that more and more employees will decide when, where and how they do their jobs as communications technology, demographic shifts and globalisation drive a revolution in working practices over the next decade.

No turning back

cass_logoIn Future Work: Changing Organizational Culture for the New World of Work, Alison Maitland, a Senior Visiting Fellow at Cass Business School, and Peter Thomson, an Executive Visiting Fellow at Henley Business School, claim we are in the early stages of a transformation of work and there is “no turning back”.

In the book’s newly published second edition, they provide compelling evidence that progressive work practices are gaining momentum throughout the world. And far from being the preserve of a few trendy tech companies, even investment banks and insurance firms are starting to embrace them.

In the two years since the publication of the first edition of Future Work, we have seen yet more evidence that there is a revolution in working practices on the way,” says Maitland.

Given the economic downturn of the last few years, it might be thought that organisations would revert to ‘safe’ traditional practices and abandon agile working as a luxury. Yet we are seeing more companies recognising the need to adopt progressive working practices, even in traditionally conservative sectors such as law and investment banking. Companies like GAP and BDO in the US have meanwhile strongly reaffirmed their commitment to future work practices on the grounds that they are good for business and for employee wellbeing.”

The updated, expanded edition of the book includes an extra chapter on how to implement future work, including how individuals can drive change and how to avoid technology overload. Thomson explains: “The debate over Yahoo highlighted how important it is to manage new working patterns effectively. Poor management can, at one extreme, lead to people becoming disaffected and cut off from the organisation, and at the other extreme can mean people overwork and burn out. The solution to these challenges is not to give up and revert to out-dated working practices but for management and employees to work through the issues together.”

Industrial age

Maitland and Thomson argue that, while more companies are adopting radically new work styles, there are still many that cling to a rigid model of fixed working time and place that is better suited to the industrial age than the information age. Long hours are often required and rewarded without any measure of the productivity involved, and technology has simply extended working time instead of being used to enable “smarter” working.

There is overwhelming evidence that employees are more productive if they have greater autonomy over where, when and how they work. Trusting people to manage their own work lives, individually or in teams, pays off. Organisations that have switched to the new model also benefit from more motivated workers, better customer service and lower costs, say the authors.

Unilever, the global consumer goods multinational, has seen big business benefits from its Agile Working strategy over the past two years, including: €95m in cost savings from avoiding business travel; increased employee productivity; and the continuation of critical projects during disruption from major events such as the London Olympics and Hurricane Sandy.

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