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Painters and postal workers in demand as UK faces labour shortage

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Painters, decorators and plasterers are in high demand. Photo: Getty Images
Painters, decorators and plasterers are in high demand. Photo: Getty Images

The UK's jobs market continues to boom, new data shows, with employers struggling to fill vacancies in in-demand roles.

There were 1.7 million active job adverts in the UK in the first week of August, data from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation revealed, the second highest weekly figure since December 2020.

Some of the most in-demand jobs included painters, decorators and plasterers. Demand is surging as Brits look to renovate their living spaces and spend more time at home due to the pandemic.

There was a significant increase in adverts for photographers, audio-visual and broadcasting equipment operators last week, as well as for farm workers as the harvest season continues. Postal workers and insurance underwriter were also in demand.

Chart: REC
Chart: REC

There were around 204,000 new job adverts posted in the first week of this month, the fourth highest weekly figure since the start of the pandemic. Labour shortages continue to affect many sectors, driven by the pandemic and Brexit.

Read more: Hospitality reopening drives hiring spree in red-hot jobs market

"Since the final COVID restrictions were lifted in July, the number of new job adverts has continued to ramp up," said Kate Shoesmith, deputy chief executive of the REC.

“Employers are desperate to find good staff to help them recover and grow in the coming months.”

Shoesmith said the shortage of workers in almost every sector was starting to translate into higher pay and better benefits in some industries. 

She added that employers needed more support from the government. Business need an effective, long-term plan on skills and an immigration system that has the flexibility to meet employers’ needs, Shoesmith said.

Play workers and other teaching and educational professionals saw the biggest declines in active job adverts as summer holidays continue and the sector experiences a cooling off period, the REC said.

Watch: How to answer difficult interview questions

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