Kate Cracknell
Kate Cracknell

Lack of cyber security knowledge cited as biggest barrier against attracting new talent

The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology has partnered with The SANS Institute, the world’s largest provider of cyber security training, to launch Upskill in Cyber a free training programme aimed at tackling the skills shortage in cyber security.

So far, the programme has trained over 200 students from non-cyber backgrounds. The programme, lasting 14 weeks, offers candidates world-class training and support, helping them gain first-hand access to industry professionals to better understand rising threats, roles, and responsibilities. Many have gone on to secure guaranteed job interviews upon successful completion of the training programme.

Research by SANS Institute found that 44% of the UK workforce have considered a career change in the last year. However, only 6% have taken an interest in pursuing a career in cyber security – despite ranking; better pay, career advancement opportunities and flexible working as the top three benefits. This is due to a lack of understanding about the industry, roles available or the skills needed to consider pursuing a career in cyber security

Around 12.5% of the UK workforce identified the need for sector-specific qualifications as one of the main factors preventing them from pursuing a career in cyber security and 25% of career switchers rank a lack of knowledge as a significant deterrent in considering a career in the cyber security sector.

Minister for Science, Innovation, and Technology, Viscount Camrose, said: “The UK is rapidly establishing itself as a world leader in cyber security, and ensuring people have the skills they need to access jobs in the industry is key to cementing and expanding that reputation. The Upskill in Cyber programme lets us do exactly that – removing knowledge and skills barriers for aspiring cyber security professionals, and supporting them into the exciting new careers which fuel innovation, drive growth and protect our economy.”

Stephen Jones, Managing Director of SANS Institute added, “We have found that certain businesses lack the incident response and governance cyber security skills needed to face up to the realities of a challenging threat landscape. Our training programme helps to eradicate these skills gaps, breaking down barriers to facilitate the transition into a career in cyber.”

More information can be found at: https://www.sans.org/mlp/upskillcyber/

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Resignation numbers show no signs of slowing

A global Talent Trends survey of almost 70,000 working adults has uncovered seismic shifts in employee attitudes and motivations – 90% of global respondents and 86% of UK respondents cited they are open to new opportunities in the jobs market.

Conducted by global recruitment consultancy, PageGroup, the survey is one of the largest studies of skilled, white-collar professionals to date. Of the 2,145 UK respondents, 50% classified themselves as active job seekers, either looking for a new role or planning to look in the next six months. A further 36% are on the fence about looking elsewhere – waiting for the economy to improve.

For employers, these figures suggest only 1 in 10 current staff members are confident they will stay put this year. New joiners are likely to be open to new opportunities as their more tenured counterparts, with more than a third of those who started their job as recently as 2022 considered ‘active job seekers’.

The year 2022 witnessed a staggering increase in resignations, with levels almost three times higher than the previous year. In 2021, the resignation rate stood at 15%, but it skyrocketed to 44% in 2022, highlighting a significant shift in employee loyalty and commitment.

The survey also explored the changing landscape of work arrangements. While traditional full-time office roles still accounted for 26% of UK workers, the dominance of remote and hybrid working models became increasingly evident. Fully remote positions accounted for 19% of workers, while a majority of 55% embraced the hybrid approach, combining remote and in-office work.

Economic conditions also played a vital role in employees’ decision-making processes. The study found that 53% of workers were more inclined to seek new employment during periods of poor economic performance. This correlation was even more pronounced in Europe and globally, with percentages reaching 58% and 70%, respectively.

Despite the wave of resignations, a considerable portion of the workforce expressed satisfaction with their current workloads (67%) and salaries (59%). This indicates that many employees are content in their roles but still keep an eye out for potential opportunities that may align better with their aspirations.

Notably, salary emerged as the most important factor when considering a job, with 23% of respondents ranking it as their top priority. However, a concerning 32% of UK respondents revealed that they had not received a pay rise in the past two years, indicating a potential source of dissatisfaction for a significant portion of the workforce.

In terms of overall wellbeing and work/life balance, the survey revealed that UK workers prioritise these aspects over career success. An overwhelming majority of 76% indicated that they would prioritise a better work/life balance and mental health over climbing the career ladder. Comparatively, in Europe, this percentage was slightly lower at 73%, and globally, it stood at 67%.

Furthermore, the study highlighted that 57% of UK workers would reject a promotion if they believed it would negatively impact their wellbeing. This finding underlines the growing importance of maintaining a healthy work/life balance and prioritising personal wellbeing in the face of professional advancements.

The survey findings offer valuable insights into the current dynamics of the UK job market, indicating a need for employers to adapt and cater to the evolving expectations and desires of their workforce. To attract and retain talent, organisations must not only offer competitive salaries but also focus on providing flexible work arrangements, nurturing positive work environments, and prioritising employee well-being.

Doug Rode, Managing Director UK and Ireland at Michael Page said: “There’s a lot of fog and ambiguity around what’s going on in the market, which is why we wanted to go straight to the source and find out what’s making both workers and employers tick. Happy workers are still liable to leave if a better opportunity comes along and many professionals are adopting a more ‘transactional’ view of their jobs, putting their own value first.”

Nicholas Kirk, CEO, PageGroup added: “Every region has seen a transformative change across all age groups, markets, and industries. It’s clear there has been a universal reset of people’s relationships with their jobs. Work-life balance, a competitive salary, and strong career progression prospects have become non-negotiable, and professionals are willing to leave their current roles to secure these elsewhere.”

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US executives feel they have not been paid fairly in-line with inflation

A 2023 Job Market Survey has examined the state of employment in the United States – highlighting the growing economic concerns between lower and high wage earners.

The survey, commissioned by the Professional Resume Writers (PRW), interviewed a cross-section of 2000 people of which 92% were employed and 59% had a college degree,

Overall, the survey revealed concerns about job security has increased by 49%, however, for those at entry-level, the percentage leaps to 91%. Working from home has impacted employees significantly, based on their level within the organisation – a concern for entry-level employees, but with no impact at the executive level.

Key survey findings:

66% of executives are worried about job security in 2023. The highest of any of the levels surveyed.
Worry about job security has increased by 49% but, for those early in their careers their worry increased 91% over last year with nearly half of entry-level workers reporting being worried about job security in 2023.
21% of workers said that job security has been impacted by working from home
97% of Entry-Level workers feel like they have been impacted by the rise in cost of living
Executives feel they have not been paid fairly in-line with inflation
6 out of 10 people are looking to change careers
Worry about job security has increased by 111% for those with bachelor degrees

Michelle Masters, co-founder of Professional Resume Writers, said: “It’s not surprising that people are concerned about their job security, given the current economic climate. It’s important for professionals to take proactive steps to maintain their employability, such as staying up-to-date on industry trends and continually honing their skills. Additionally, individuals who are considering a career change should focus on their transferable skills and how they can be leveraged in a new field.”

For further information: (https://professionalresumewriters.com/job-market/)

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Women’s pensions impeded by career breaks and working part-time

 Research reveals a 49% difference between male and female average UK pension pots – according to the latest review of the Gender Pension Report (GPR) by the Government Actuary’s Department (GAD).

GAD analysis of the GPS gender pension gap saw that on average, the male pension equated to £8,466 while the average female’s equated to £4,285.

A 46% difference was also recorded between actively contributing males and females in legacy accrued final salary benefits, and a 35% difference between male and female actively contributing members post-2014 accrued career average benefits. The data provides valuable evidence to help develop government policy on the pensions scheme.

An analysis by the LGA four years ago across local government employers also noted there was a mean gender pay gap of 6.1% and a median gender pay gap of 4%, further indicating the obstacles women face.

The difference also highlights how women taking career breaks or working part-time significantly impacts upon pay and pension pay – a balance that needs to be reviewed.

Fraser Stewart, Chief Commercial Officer for FinTech platform Lyfeguard, said: “Pensions are an important aspect of people’s lives due to the sheer amount of time people spend working towards them, so it is vital that there are equal opportunities to earn a fair pension fund for life after work, rather than face a significant gender disparity. More education and effort should be put into pensions, in general, in order to maximise the benefits of these schemes.”

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Job ads with a salary receive 6x more applications

The proportion of UK job ads including vital salary information has slipped to a seven year low as employers ignore calls for salary transparency.

Adzuna – a job search engine company – analysed 80 million UK job ads advertised between 2016 and April 2023 to highlight the sectors, regions, and companies who are most and least transparent about pay.

Despite the data showing job ads with a salary receive 6x more applications, 51.5% of UK job ads disclose salary in April 2023 – down from 61.4% in April 2022.

Key report findings:

  • Energy, oil and gas sector sees largest fall, followed by admin and trade and construction
  • Most secretive sectors: retail, scientific and QA, creative and design
  • West Midlands is the most straight talking with 55.6% of job ads disclosing pay
  • Only 29.5% of job ads in Northern Ireland feature salaries, the lowest of any region, followed by Scotland (41.7%), Wales (47.0%) and London (49.7%).

Job vacancies have slipped -19.5% across the UK and the labour market has become tighter. Falling salary transparency suggests employers may be using this shift in power to rein in salary disclosure and keep a tight lid on budgets when filling roles.

Only 26.8% of Retail jobs included salary information in April 2023, falling 14 percentage points (pp) from 40.8% a year ago. The next worst offending sectors are Scientific and Quality Assurance (QA) (29.3%) and Creative and Design (31.1%).

Compared to a year ago, salary transparency has slipped fastest in the Energy, Oil and Gas sector, where the proportion of job ads disclosing salary information has fallen by 17.5 pp from 50.9% to 33.4%. Similarly, fewer salary details are on offer for admin jobs compared to a year ago, down 17.1pp from 73.0% to 55.9%. Trade and Construction saw the third largest fall, down 16.3pp from 69.1% to 52.8%.

Voluntary jobs are most likely to include pay information, with 84.3% of job ads disclosing salary in April 2023, followed by Social Work roles (72.9%) and Logistics and Warehouse positions (70.9%).

London has been cited as having both the worst ethnicity pay gap and worst gender pay gap, suggesting a correlation between a lack of transparency and inequality.

Andrew Hunter, cofounder of Adzuna, said: “Compared to last year, the power in the jobs market has shifted back to companies and we are seeing fewer job ads disclosing the salary as employers find it easier to fill positions. As well as making the job hunting process less stressful and less time consuming for jobseekers, salary transparency is a crucial step towards eliminating pay gaps in the jobs market.”


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New AI platform revolutionises recruitment process

AI company Globus.ai has announced the launch of its ChatGPT-powered staffing feature to help streamline the recruitment process for both talent and recruiters.

With this new platform, recruiters can create campaigns tailored to each individual role, including; location and qualifications – saving valuable time. Similarly, for candidates, the AI’s platform helps to match them with the most suitable job opportunities via the recruitment portal. Candidates can also use this portal to browse job opportunities, increasing engagement with the staffing agency.

Launched in 2017 with AI at its core, Globus.ai empowers recruiters and talent by streamlining the staffing process and revolutionising how staffing agencies hire candidates with the use of AI. Backed by large Venture Capitalists from Europe and the US, Globus.ai’s existing customers include Dedicare, OnePartnerGroup and Randstad.

This news comes alongside Globus.ai being recognised in Staffing Industry Analysts’ (SIA) ‘Staffing Platforms as a Service Global Landscape 2023’ report. The company is the only Northern Europe provider to be included in the report, which helps to align company decision makers with the best staffing platforms.

Helge Bjorland, CEO and Co-founder at Globus.ai, said: “The mainstream reach of ChatGPT has meant that many companies now identify as AI companies. We’re already finding that recruiters are turning away from agencies if they’re not embracing the capabilities that AI brings, which emphasises the importance of our mission.”

Andreas Nordlund, CTO at OnePartnerGroup,said: “My job is to ensure that our technology aligns with our business goals and supports our teams in delivering innovative solutions to our customers and partners, that’s where Globus adds value. We want to use AI to make our recruitment and staffing processes more efficient and improve the experience for both candidates and clients, while still keeping human competence at the centre of everything we do.”

To learn more about Globus.ai, visit the website here.

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Three out of the four local authorities with the most high-paying senior roles are within London

Research has been carried out to see if there is a regional bias – when it comes to where the highest number of senior positions are held.

Moneyzine.com carried out research to shed light on which UK local authorities and regions had the highest and lowest concentrations of senior roles.

Key Findings:

  • The largest disparity of where senior positions are held is between Chelsea and Kensington (26.6%) and Kingston Upon Hull (7%), closely followed by Westminster (22.55%) compared to only (7.8%) in Middlesbrough.
  • Comparing 10 regions across England and Wales, the average concentration of such roles is 12.23%
  • The South East (14.88%) and London (14.55%) have a higher concentration of senior roles in comparison to Wales (10.51%) and the North East (9.88%).

Jonathan Merry, CEO of Moneyzine.com, said: “This data shows that inequality in professional opportunities is less about broad regional divides – and more about specific areas of high concentration or deprivation. Chelsea is just an hour from Barking, yet has more than 3x more senior officials.”

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UK businesses need to upskill workers to compete in sustainable marketplace

Despite the green jobs boom – almost 70% of business leaders believe the country is heading towards a green skills shortage – particularly in the areas of sustainable engineering and finance.

Research carried out by leading recruiter PageGroup, shows businesses need to upskill their workers to compete in the sustainable sector and employees are increasingly concerned about the impact climate change and net-zero commitments will have on their current roles.

Key research findings;

  • 57% believe these specialised skills are important to their business – but many are struggling to find skilled staff.
  • 27% are actively identifying opportunities and anticipating future business needs.
  • 26% investing in professional training to upskill and prepare their existing workforce.
  • 23% are offering more on-the-job training and apprenticeships.

A separate poll of 2,000 employed adults found 27% are eyeing up a green job as their next career move but many are unsure if they have the necessary skills.

The research commissioned by global recruitment experts Michael Page, showed 47% are considering work in the renewable energy sector – with many also seeing sustainable investment and sustainable construction as viable options.

Half of the employed adults considering the switch wanted a role that positively impacted the planet, while 36% wanted to future-proof their careers.

To ensure their skills are compatible with future green jobs, 28% plan to undergo training related to their current specialism, with 26% exploring online courses to achieve the necessary qualifications.

Joanna Bonnett, Head of Sustainability at PageGroup, said, “To ensure the UK succeeds in its green transition efforts, it’s crucial for policy makers, businesses, and educational organisations to collaborate and invest in properly preparing the workforce. Doing so, will create a pipeline of talent that is ready for the jobs of the future and tackle the green skills shortage, which, if not addressed, could drastically slow down net zero efforts.

“With one in five companies currently recruiting for green positions, it’s clear they recognise the significance of the green transition, and importantly, the benefits it brings to their business and workforce.”

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Sky’s the limit: New collaboration aims high with global expansion

Sonovate has partnered with global HR platform, Deel, to support customers with on-demand, scalable funding solutions.

Sonovate will become the sole funder on Deel’s Marketplace. Its embedded finance solutions will be integral to helping Deel’s customers fund and place candidates globally.

Deel is a global payroll solution helping businesses hire anyone, anywhere as independent contractors or full time employees – with a customer base of over 15,000 businesses; helping household names including; Nike and Shopify to start-ups.

Sonovate’s funding solutions on the Deel Marketplace will give Deel’s customer base access to scalable invoice financing solutions needed to fund payroll; enabling them to expand faster and better manage cash flow. Through Deel’s platform, Sonovate’s customers can place talent faster around the world.

The combination of Deel’s Employer of Record service and Sonovate’s multi-currency, embedded finance solution will drive efficiencies for recruiters, providing a fast, holistic HR and funding solution that allows for frictionless expansion into new territories, including those who want to grow operations domestically.

Richard Prime, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Sonovate, said: “This partnership marks yet another step change for us, as Sonovate evolves our service to better support larger recruiters and consultancies who want to expand overseas. Deel’s global platform empowers us to offer our services to more organisations who place workers across the globe, propelling us forward on our mission to fund the future of work. Sonovate customers can now place contractors in more jurisdictions than ever before, with Deel providing access to more than 150 countries.”

Dan Westgarth, Chief Operating Officer at Deel, said: “This partnership allows us to provide our customers with even more of the tools they need to scale globally and at pace. With any growing business, managing a changing cash flow – particularly in multiple currencies – can be challenging and is commonly cited as a key barrier to growth. Bringing Sonovate on board changes this for our customers, and gives them access to the scalable, flexible funding they need to regulate cash flow and accelerate growth, be that domestically or overseas.”

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Demands for higher pay puts pressure on corporate budgets

With the Cost-of-Living crisis and rising inflation, business leaders are being warmed by increasing numbers of the UK workforce seeking job security and better pay – making attracting and retaining the best talent challenging.

Recruitment specialists, Robert Half’s  Jobs Confidence Index (JCI)  – an economic confidence tracker produced in association with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) every quarter found that, despite a small dip towards the end of last year, the JCI remains in positive territory at 19.9.

The Index also revealed that workers remain confident about their job security, with the search and progression pillar up 1.6 points quarter on quarter. These statistics are indicative of the skills shortages driving up both competition for talent and worker confidence.

  • 7% feel confident about their career and progression prospects in the next five years (in line with the firm’s Candidate Sentiment Survey published earlier in the year, revealing that job seeker confidence is at an all-time high).
  • 47% say they were looking for a new job – up eight percentage points on last years’ figures.
  • 43% of those actively searching for a new role wanted a better salary.

According to Robert Half, employers need to strike the right balance between offering competitive remuneration, progression plans and providing other benefits such as learning and development opportunities – if a sustainable talent attraction solution is to be developed.

Matt Weston, Senior Managing Director UK & Ireland, at Robert Half said: “The high job confidence we’re seeing in the employment market at a time when the economy is sluggish is putting pressure on corporate budgets as higher salaries are increasingly sought. The challenge for employers will be finding the right balance of financial and non-financial incentives to ensure unrealistic pay rises don’t have a detrimental impact on the bottom line. Leaders need to be mindful  that, while they can appease staff and new recruits with modest pay rises, with skills in short supply, competitors could easily poach their most valuable resource. While above-inflation pay rises aren’t sustainable for many firms, another talent exodus could soon be on the cards if retention plans aren’t implemented.”

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