Britain’s shortage of workers is not only affecting the transportation industry, but also other sectors such as hospitality, health & care. In total, there are approximately 1.66million advertised jobs unfilled.
The total now matches the number of people out of work in the UK — 1.6million, according to official data. However, due to low pay and lack of training, it will be very difficult to fill the vacancies.
The workforce shortage has already impacted the supermarkets, fuel stations and pubs and restaurants.
A study made by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation shows that care-home providers haven’t had enough staff to take in hospital patients ready to be discharged, or those referred for help by councils.
Dr Jane Townson, UK Home Care Association chief executive, called shortages ‘the worst that anyone can remember’. She added that demand from hospitals and local councils had risen but capacity had fallen, as staff ‘leave in droves’. “I think providers and care workers feel forgotten, as though they’re just dispensable.”
Joanna Mitchell, from palliative care provider Your Care, said they have been short-staffed for over three months and invested £2,000 in August on ads, however they were unable to interview suitable candidates.
‘It’s heartbreaking. Families are left to struggle on their own in an already really emotional environment,’ she said. ‘You know their loved-one is dying but we can’t get to them quick enough, if at all.’
More than 200 owners informed The Institute of Health and Social Care Management they were unable to honour the requests for care in the last month due to lack of staff.
Also, local councils have warned bin rounds could be impacted as well because drivers are tempted by joining bonuses and increased daily rates offered by desperate haulage firms.
Amazon is also said to be offering the £1,000 bonus payments for warehouse workers, with similar incentives offered by bus companies.
Industry bodies such as Logistics UK have called for ministers to make it easier to qualify for HGV licences, clear a backlog of tests and loosen visa rules for overseas drivers.
Gary Smith, general secretary of GMB union, said: ‘The growing labour market crisis is a result of years of cost-cutting and austerity by employers and government.
‘If we are to avoid prolonged and crippling shortages across industries and supply chains, employers must start paying people properly for their labour.’
Neil Carberry, head of REC which collates job ad data, said: ‘With businesses in the food, logistics and hospitality sectors starting to gear up for Christmas, the months ahead could be difficult, even with a large number of people coming off furlough in August and September.’
Its figures show an extra 7,196 job ads for lorry drivers were posted in the last week of August. But that was dwarfed by 79,123 for nurses and 49,751 for carers.
Latest official government figures show a record 953,000 vacancies — up 290,000 and 168,000 above pre-pandemic levels.
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