Employers are turning to younger workers to fill skills gaps, according to the latest Labour Market Outlook from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). The report, which is the based on responses from 931 employers, indicates that the number of employers willing to hire more apprentices and school leavers is increasing. The reason cited for this is increasing difficulties filling vacancies.
In response to these difficulties in recruiting, employers are responding in a number of ways:
- 50% are attempting to increase the skills of current employees
- 33% plan to hire apprentices (up from 22% in 2014)
- 26% plan to hire graduates
- 12% want to hire school leavers.
The report seems to align with data from the Office of National Statistics which shows that the employment rate for 16-24 year olds that aren’t currently in full-time education is at 74%, the highest level since 2008.
The report does, however, point to an increasingly polarised situation with regards to wages. CIPD predicts a continuation of the current gap between workers whose wages exceed the current inflation rate and those who have only received modest or no increases.
Gerwyn Davies, labour market analyst for the CIPD, said:
“After a long, dark decade, the prospects for young people are finally looking brighter. The tightening labour market is undoubtedly encouraging more employers to turn to a wider range of younger recruits. However, it is also due to a recognition among a growing number of employers that they need to develop talent to limit the potential for future labour shortages.
“However, employers need to support this recruitment drive by ensuring that they have the people management practices in place to support the effective utilisation of skills, which is critical for job retention and productivity.”