//Job hunters will take paycut for training

Published 12th January 2018 at 7:33pm

City Region surveys hundreds of jobseekers and bosses

Young jobhunters in the Sheffield City Region (SCR) would take a pay cut in return for training and experience, a leading survey of 500 jobseekers and bosses has found.

The SCR’s ‘Skills shortages and hard to fill vacancies’ report, due to be launched on February 7th, shows that many people are ready to take a lower salary in return for the training and experience they desperately need. They find it hard to get this as they apply for their first job after university or college.

Job applicants also value career progression and a good work-life balance according to the report. The survey found that a key way to attract and keep quality staff is to be flexible about working patterns rather than sticking rigidly to traditional hours. While potential employees are happy to work hard, they value the ability to work around other commitments. Many turn down jobs where they can’t do this.

Dr Lisa Clark, the SCR’s Senior Economic Policy Manager who led the report, said: “It’s clear that people look at job satisfaction and company ethos when applying for jobs. It’s not all about salary.”

She hopes that businesses will also review their induction processes for new staff and that this is an area the SCR can facilitate.

“In this region 88% of companies have fewer than ten employees and we know it is hard to find time for these important processes. However, removing issues related to hard-to-fill vacancies will be important in making a contribution to local employment targets.”

Employers and job applicants are invited to the launch of the survey on hard-to-fill vacancies on Thursday February 7th at the Technology Centre on the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham.

Dr Clark added: “We have found many examples of employers who really think about training and quality of life. The IT company 8point8, in Doncaster are just one example – they have their own training academy which also provides training for other businesses: they have already seen 600 people through the doors.

“Precision engineering company Numill Ltd of Sheffield has introduced, in agreement with the workforce, a three-day weekend in return for a longer working day over four days. If weekend working is required overtime is paid. This means that everyone on the staff enjoys a good break every week.

“And this year the City Region has helped fund two major new resources for skills and training – the National College for High Speed Rail which will transform the way we educate highly-skilled engineers, and the new Rotherham University Centre.”

A previous study in 2015 found that 2,345 employers in the City Region had a vacancy that they considered ‘hard to fill’ and were struggling to fill the vacancy for a range of reasons. This might be location, working hours or the skills required. In the same year the SCR’s Local Enterprise Partnership set a target of creating 70,000 new jobs by 2025.

Following the launch of the report, the SCR aims to encourage further co-operation between stakeholders in areas such as work experience, career progression, people management skills, training for senior positions, and technical and soft skills.

  • The full ‘Skills shortages and hard to fill vacancies’ report can be read at http://bit.ly/2FfCdWG
  • The report feeds into the SCR Local Enterprise Partnership Skills and Investment Plan
  • Research was undertaken by Benchmark on behalf of the SCR