The UK Employer Skills Survey (ESS) is one of the largest business surveys in the world, with the data in this report based on survey responses from over 87,000 employers.
Recruitment and skill-shortage vacancies
Growth in recruitment activity was evident across most of the UK.
In line with previous years, a third of vacancies in the UK (33%) were considered hard to fill.
There has been an 8% increase in the number of skill-shortage vacancies compared with 2015. They were most numerous in the Business Services sector (just under 52,000 at the time of the survey), though as a proportion of all vacancies in the sector, the density of such vacancies was highest in Construction. By occupation, employers were most likely to have experienced skills-related difficulties when recruiting for Skilled Trades positions. The skills disproportionately lacking for Professionals included advanced IT skills and complex analytical skills.
The proportion of vacancies proving hard to fill exclusively for non-skills-related reasons was highest in Health and Social Work.
Among employers who had vacancies that were proving hard to fill, 34% had attempted to recruit EU nationals to try to help overcome recruitment difficulties. This was a particularly common way of trying to fill hard-to-fill vacancies in the Hotels and Restaurants sector (53%). Read more