17th May 2022

ONS Report: More job vacancies than people unemployed as need for international talent intensifies

Over a third of the UK workforce say lack of skilled talent poses greatest threat to businesses, data suggests.

Nayan Gala, founder of JPIN, the largest investment bank between the UK and emerging markets, explains how international talent can contribute to the British economy:

"New figures from The Office for National Statistics(ONS) reveals that unemployment rates have fallen to its lowest level in almost 50 years, while job vacancies have hit a fresh high. Between January and March, there were 1.257 million people out of work; meanwhile, job vacancies have soared to 1.295 million between February and April.

In light of this, and amidst a talent exodus at the hands of Brexit, business leaders have already begun to introduce various initiatives in an effort to attract and retain talent. However, the ONS statistics show that the skills deficit all boils down to one factor: there simply aren't enough workers to fill vacancies.

The sentiment is echoed in research commissioned by global startup investment bank, JPIN, finding that 36% of workers are citing the lack of skilled talent as the primary factor in holding back business growth. A further 25% feel that the lack of tech capabilities is hindering their growth opportunities.

Britain has long enjoyed the support of international talent, with almost 40% of non-UK born workers being in the highest-skilled jobs in 2020–according to the University of Oxford. Industry expert. Although outsourcing workers from the European Union has become more difficult after Brexit, there is a wealth of talent that exists in the world’s emerging markets.

In 2021 alone, 43% of the UK's skilled worker visas were issued to Indian nationals; with a further 25% of the world's engineers being from India– ccording to research. Their young population of 1.39 billion people has given rise to some of the most sought-after workers and entrepreneurs of this generation. India's booming technology sector demonstrates an illustrious array of talent, not just in skill but also in leadership, and the ability to navigate complex situations–particularly when it comes to scaling organisations. Now, the nation looks set to become a key player in alleviating the pressures looming from the UK's talent shortage.

“The UK is facing the worst skills shortage on record, and it is clear, now more than ever, that it all comes down to numbers. While investors have long turned to emerging markets for high returns, it is time for the government further lean on these markets for support in filling the talent gap.

"With innovation deriving from so many different countries in today's global economy, there is an extensive surplus of talent that can assist with alleviating the recruitment pressures Britain currently faces. Right now, we're seeing tech as the key ingredient for growth and expansion – so a shortage of workers in this sector is hitting UK businesses hard.

“For instance, as a 21st century powerhouse, India's rate in producing some of the world's most successful skilled workers has placed a spotlight on the nation's talent pool, particularly in the tech sector. The significance of the relationship between the UK and India cannot be underestimated, and it's clear that the prime minister sees the wealth in opportunities that this partnership can bring to the economy.

I suspect that a combination of upskilling homegrown talent as well as leaning on the pillars of other thriving economies will help with combating the skills shortage. It certainly looks as though this is the UK's strategy– especially by introducing the HPI Visa scheme, which will help bring in talent from other countries to fill the current gap."

JPIN Trends(14 articles)
ONS Trends(7 articles)