Telecoms professionals still in high demand, says Manpower

Telecoms and media jobs set to rise 6% in fourth quarter, according to Manpower survey

Telecommunications and media job posts are set to increase by 6% in the fourth quarter of 2014, as UK employers in the sector continue to recruit positively, according to a Manpower survey.

The survey of more than 2,000 UK employees sought to discover whether businesses intend to hire additional workers or reduce their workforce in the coming quarter.

The UK’s national employment outlook was also up by 6% for the fourth quarter, but this figure is down from the 8% growth seen in the third quarter – the biggest dip in three years and a reflection of how employers are generally scaling back on their recruitment plans.  

Tobias Mills, ManpowerGroup sector director, telecommunications and media, said job creation had dropped off slightly in the sector this quarter as companies’ earlier productivity improvements bed in.

“There is still positivity, driven by the need to keep up with the shift in the way telecoms and media companies connect with consumers,” he added. "These days, customers more often want to interact through a live chat or other web-based services. Not only that, but they want a one-stop shop for all their needs.

“The telecommunications and media sector is very adaptive, so we’re seeing companies address this through the upskilling of their workforces and job creation in technical roles. 

“The big sporting events of the year – the World Cup and Commonwealth Games – may be behind us, but demand for quality candidates in the sector remains as companies battle with each other to attract and retain customers in the important run-up to Christmas.”

2014 recruitment boom

2014 so far has seen a boom in recruitment from UK companies, with job creation reaching its highest level since records began in 1971.

“The armed forces are even getting involved, to make sure companies are getting it right for customers providing engineering outplacements for those in the services to improve the infrastructure," said Mills. 

"That said, there are still pockets of the UK where the skills gap hasn’t been filled, especially Aberdeen and the surrounding areas in Scotland.

“That’s where we would like to see more apprenticeships. The telecommunications industry is strongly represented among apprenticeship programmes, and continuing to invest in these will help secure talent for the sector in the longer term.”

James Hick, managing director of ManpowerGroup Solutions, said although the pace of jobs growth has slowed, an hourglass jobs economy is emerging, with an abundance of demand at the top and bottom, while the middle remains squeezed.

“At the top of the hourglass we are seeing huge demand for skilled IT, finance and engineering candidates, and our professional sourcing division has placed a record number of people to address skills shortages in these areas,” he said.

“While salary growth across the UK as a whole remains constrained, these sectors are bucking the trend as high demand is driving up pay.”

Driving the UK’s economic recovery

UK businesses are being affected by the growing skills shortage as economic growth picks up and companies start recruiting, according to the ECI Partners’ 2014 Growth Survey.

More than eight in 10 (82%) companies questioned said they are experiencing a skills shortage, and that shortage is not just restricted to London and the South West, but stretches right across the country.

Charlie Johnstone, partner at ECI Partners, said UK growth companies continue to play a vital role in driving Britain’s economic recovery, boosting exports, creating jobs and providing the much-needed rebalancing of the economy towards a private sector, so "it is heartening to see how their confidence and fortunes have rebounded from the depths of recession".

“Our survey shows that companies are ramping up hiring and investment, and looking to expand overseas. Wage inflation is holding steady, backing recent estimates of wage growth from the Office for National Statistics. This is helping companies remain competitive, but we fear the growing skills shortage could limit the growth potential of these companies and therefore the UK economy.”

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