Job prospects hit 18 month high in run-up to Christmas

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Job prospects in the transport sector are at their highest level for eighteen months, according to the latest survey by Manpower. And it highlighted the fact that drivers taking time out to do their Driver CPCs had left companies short of staff.

Transport recruitment always rises in the last quarter of the year, but this year is particularly high. At +9 per cent, the sector’s employment outlook has risen six points compared to the last quarter, and now stands three points ahead of the national average.

Manpower surveyed 2,102 UK employers, asking whether they intended to hire additional workers or reduce the size of their workforce in the coming quarter.

“There is typically a spike in transport sector recruitment in the final quarter, but this year we’re seeing particularly high demand across all sub-sectors”, said Simon Edwards, sector director, logistics at ManpowerGroup.

“From building distribution, to e-commerce, retail and fast-moving consumer goods and drinks logistics, the sector is in urgent need of new recruits. There’s been a particular shortage of drivers over the summer period, as an average of 4,500 drivers per day have been off the road while completing their Driver CPC. This has created a backlog of roles to fill and left many companies crying out for these skills through Q3. This is set to continue as we enter the final quarter,” he said.

The transport sector is outperforming the rest of the economy, the figures suggest. The UK’s National Employment Outlook of +6 per cent is down two points from third quarter of 2014.

“The UK jobs market is cooling down following an unprecedented boom so far in 2014, when job creation peaked at its highest level since records began in 1971 raising questions about whether this phenomenal level of growth is sustainable,” the report said. “The fourth quarter’s Outlook suggests it isn’t, with a two point fall in hiring intentions – the sharpest dip we’ve seen in three years.”

Edwards said: the current demand for all skills within the logistics sector would challenge employers to think more strategically about how they meet their resourcing needs in the longer-term.

“During the recession, the sector lacked investment to attract and develop the skills required as costs were so tightly managed. Now, a holistic approach to meeting the total resourcing needs of each organisation is required, and companies should focus on developing their future pipeline of talent to maintain the movement of goods around the UK.”

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