Despite the gradual nature of the reopening of the UK economy, both businesses and workers are becoming increasingly confident about their prospects for the second half of the year.
This was the finding of a report published last week by recruiter Robert Half and software company Burning Glass.
Its researchers surveyed 300 senior UK executives of private and public organisations of various sizes in April and found that overall business confidence levels had increased by 10% compared with January, with 28% of employers saying they felt ‘very confident’ and 58% ‘somewhat confident’ of growth this year.
The report also included the findings of data collected via online surveys of employees between April and May 2021 and found that almost half (47%) of workers felt more optimistic about their career prospects than they did 12 months ago.
Matt Weston, Managing Director of Robert Half, said: “Our newest employment market data shows a shift as we move into what we hope will be the latter stage of the pandemic cycle, and a return to a more confident and secure labour market for employees and employers alike.”
Skills gap emerging
However, the report also concluded that significant reskilling was needed to help employees adapt to the changing business needs brought about by the pandemic. In particular, Weston said Robert Half had seen an increase in demand for candidates with hybrid and digital skills.
Matt Sigelman, CEO of Burning Glass Technologies, explained: “The pace of skill change globally continues to accelerate. Tech, digital and data handling skills continue to be in ever-increasing demand across all sectors. The development and use of hardware, software, e-commerce apps and cloud-based collaboration platforms, as examples, are no longer solely the preserve of dedicated IT departments as virtually all areas of business are becoming highly dependent on the use of technology in their day-to-day operations.
“From a business perspective, all managers need to foster a culture of constant learning for workers to remain agile, adaptable and sufficiently skilled in order to keep up with the rapid pace of innovation.”
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