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UK – Scotland vacancies rise, while vacancies stabilize in Northern Ireland, IT sector dominates

April 27, 2022

The number of vacancies in Scotland has remained resilient in 2021, according to recent research by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) and Broadbean Technology.

Meanwhile, vacancies in Northern Ireland rose last year after a 35% drop in hiring in 2020.

The research found that the IT sector in Scotland accounted for the lion’s share of new jobs in 2021, followed by building and construction and engineering. Medicine and nursing were also in the top ten. There were over 12,000 IT jobs listed across Scotland.

In Northern Ireland, IT jobs dominated hiring, accounting for more than a fifth of vacancies last year. Accounting and engineering roles were the second most in-demand jobs throughout 2021. Almost 8,000 IT jobs were advertised in Northern Ireland in 2021, far more than any other industry, which could s explained by early 2021 investment reports from technology and management companies like Deloitte and Motomarine.

While the number of vacancies in Scotland has increased, data collected on applications by vacancy (APV) has told a different story. Last year, the number of people applying for jobs was down 40% from pre-pandemic figures, with building and construction and the medical and nursing sector reporting low levels of applicants (with a retrospective average of nine and seven candidates per vacancy). With both featuring in the top ten for the number of new vacancies, the data shows a significant shortage of in-demand talent in Scotland.

In Northern Ireland, the number of applications per vacancy last year was up from pre-pandemic levels. Call centers and customer services registered the most applicants per vacancy, with an average rate of 35, followed by logistics (25) and administration and secretarial services (17). However, many of the sectors that scored high for the number of new jobs registered had lower numbers of applications, with medical and nursing reporting an average of just two applications per role, indicating the worsening shortage. skills in the health sector.

When analyzing statistics by city in Scotland, Edinburgh and Glasgow generated the most new jobs last year, accounting for 54% of total vacancies in Scotland.

Edinburgh led in IT jobs, with nearly 6,300 new jobs registered, but Glasgow led the way in engineering with just under 2,000 jobs added. Conversely, Scotland’s two largest cities have not fared as well in the VPA rankings, indicating that there simply aren’t enough professionals to support recovery and growth plans. towns.

Perth and Kinross reported the highest number of applicants in IT, with an average of 38 applications per vacancy, while Aberdeen took first place in engineering, recording 33 applications per position.

Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo, said: “Our latest data clearly demonstrates sector-wide demand for staff across Scotland. However, the drop in applications poses a challenge for both employers and recruiting teams. If the hiring landscape in Scotland is to fully recover and continue on the growth trajectory we have recently witnessed, there is a need to address this resource shortage immediately. APSCo has highlighted a number of methods to help alleviate skills shortages in the UK, including greater flexibility in the use of the apprenticeship levy to support the ‘leveling up’ scheme high”, as well as the integration of an attractive work visa for highly qualified independent entrepreneurs. .”

Comparing cities and counties in Northern Ireland, County Antrim was responsible for creating over 25,000 jobs in 2021. Meanwhile, Antrim saw nearly 7,000 IT jobs and more 3,200 accounting jobs.

Swain added: “It is extremely promising to see that the recruitment landscape in Northern Ireland is showing continued signs of recovery. More encouragingly, however, the number of applications seems to be relatively stable in a number of sectors, bucking the trend that many economies are currently experiencing. Talent shortages in fields such as medicine and nursing, however, mean that employers in Northern Ireland are struggling to find people for high-skilled roles – a challenge that will not be easy to overcome as the Post-Brexit uncertainty around a hard-wired border in Northern Ireland remains.

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