Cambridge jobs surge defies UK gloom

The Cambridge technology cluster is helping Cambridgeshire defy the UK jobs gloom.

Labour Tech Recruitment Ltd is seeing a vastly more optimistic picture than recent national surveys have highlighted. Labour Tech reports a 20 per cent increase in permanent vacancies in Cambridgeshire since January and around a 30 per cent rise in temporary work.

This upbeat report is in stark contrast to a recent survey by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG which indicated that prospects for jobseekers were looking bleak, with a decrease in permanent and temporary job vacancies across the UK and “a high degree of uncertainty” from employers. The Olympics had been cited as one reason, with employers “reluctant to recruit” until the Games were over.

But Cambridgeshire based Labour Tech Recruitment is seeing a totally different landscape locally. Ian Bisset, the company’s head of recruitment said: “We have to disagree with the latest findings of the REC/KPMG survey. We have definitely seen a marked increase in the number of vacancies we are being approached to fill month on month.

“In particular, we are experiencing an increase in the amount of skilled jobs in the hi-tech sectors including scientific and engineering and the amount of unskilled short term contracts coming in from the manufacturing sectors.”

John Bridge, chief executive of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, said he was seeing similarly buoyant data.

“We are very fortunate that the economic outlook here in Cambridgeshire rarely reflects the negative picture painted in the national media.

“Indeed the results of our most recent quarterly economic survey showed that across the county 38 per cent of respondents were expecting to take on new staff over the coming 3 months with 58 per cent having already taken on new staff in the previous three months. It is very positive to hear from members that these findings have now been replicated first-hand on the ground.

“The Bank of England’s recent announcement has been unsettling for some business owners, but in reality they should never have forecast growth as high as they did when every indicator showed that the economic recovery would be far more steady. Businesses are currently experiencing a stable economy and a slow but stable recovery, one which rash announcements and irresponsibly excessive predictions are only going to derail.”

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Ian Bisset

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