Looking back at employment trends in 2017 we can say it was certainly a year of ups and downs, however, ultimately one with lots of positives to take with us into 2018.
The UK has performed well compared to other G7 countries with the employment rate reaching around 75%, a record high. A key driver of this was the significant number of women in work, which grew by 215,000 in comparison to 64,000 men, narrowing the gender gap even further. Aided by a decline in youth unemployment by 96,000, this saw UK unemployment fall to a 42 year low.
However, there were challenges such as productivity remaining low, wages struggling to keep up with inflation, IR35 and of course the uncertainty of Brexit! There are major investment concerns about the attractiveness of the UK and Brexit negotiations over 2018 will be pivotal in ensuring the future skills and mobility rights of businesses are in place to ensure growth.
Confidence is high and employers expect growth to continue throughout 2018 with focus being on retaining top talent, employee engagement, developing agile workforces and upskilling of staff.
Throughout 2017 talent shortages was an ever increasing issue for our clients within the procurement industry. As such retaining talent was a major theme in the procurement world with specialist experience in areas such as IT and Marketing in particular in very high demand.
We found companies having to really go the extra mile to attract the top talent in the market away from their current organisation. However, Inflationary pressure is anticipated to ease and companies will need to look at increasing pay levels in 2018.
Technology will continue to advance and AI will no doubt become more prevalent, however, people will be at the forefront in meeting the challenges.
If you would like to discuss the procurement market place, current opportunities, your career and whether you feel you are maximising your potential please do get in touch.
By Adam Roughton – Principal Consultant