Employment growth shows strength

21-01-2008

Employment growth shows strength
Employment growth over the last quarter was the strongest since 1997, new figures have revealed.

Research by the Office for National Statistics has discovered that 175,000 people found employment over the last three months, taking the total number in work to 29.36 million.

Employment minister Caroline Flint commented that the figures show employment growth for both younger and older workers.

"With record numbers of vacancies in the economy the opportunities exist for people to make the most of their skills and talents," she said.

She added that the government is determined to give everyone "the chance they deserve".

Furthermore, the number of people claiming employment benefit fell to the lowest level in 30 years.

Satisfying though the numbers are, ClickAJob chief executive Yngve Traberg warns that they may not be enough.

"As a service economy, we need to put more stress on quality," he says.

"Superior skills are vital for companies to remain competitive - and on a more personal level, employees need them to advance their careers," he observes.

"There's no shortage of workers, but right now the shortage of skills is severe," he remarks.

As evidence, Mr Traberg cites the already sensitive issue of who gets the top jobs, pointing out that immigrants with the right qualifications are snapping up positions from under the noses of lesser-qualified Brits.

Worse, he notes, with little or no investment in high-value employee relationships, many employers are often unwittingly driving staff away, exacerbating the very situation they are trying to avoid.

"Good staff need care and attention just as much as customers," advises Mr Traberg.

"Attracting them is one thing, the real issue is persuading them that they WANT to stay."

Related categories: HR / Recruitment.


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