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UK enters two-speed jobs market

COMPETITION for highly-skilled specialist occupations such as accounting and finance is outpacing the general employment market, according to recruiters Robert Half.

The research of 200 finance executives from companies across the UK found that majority of finance directors believe that the UK has entered a two-speed jobs market and that competition for skilled finance professionals has increased over the last year.

The findings, in which 64% of CFOs said they would increase headcount if they had additional budget, come in the wake of the latest ONS employment figures where the number of people in employment increased by 105,000 on the quarter and by 459,000 on the year to reach 30.19 million for November 2013 to January 2014.

Over half of respondents said they would employ between 11%-25% extra staff in their finance and accounting teams if they had additional budget, suggesting that support for UK businesses combined with business growth will contribute to job creation.

Phil Sheridan, managing director, Robert Half UK said: “Increased economic confidence coupled with job creation and declining unemployment rates spell opportunity for UK businesses. However, still more needs to be done as many are challenged with finding the budget to hire the requisite staff to drive business growth, yet when funding prevails, facing a shortage of niche specialists. This is resulting in higher remuneration and a virtual ‘war for talent’ within the UK industry as businesses compete for skilled professionals.”

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