The logistics sector saw the biggest increases in advertised jobs in March as businesses adjust to the Coronavirus pandemic, according to data from Totaljobs and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).
The data illustrates that while many sectors have been negatively impacted by Coronavirus, some areas of the labour market are experiencing growth as the economy regears itself to tackle the pandemic.
Figures also reveal a continued demand for staff in the IT and tech sectors, with more roles advertised than in any other industry. In return, in the second week of April there was a 31 per cent increase in searches for IT roles on the Totaljobs platform. Meanwhile jobs in warehouse operations and driving have attracted applications from 68,000 new users on Totaljobs, which is equivalent to a third of total new applicants across the site.
Increase in healthcare roles
In the last two weeks of March, the number of healthcare roles advertised increased by 17 per cent for doctors and 7 per cent for nurses compared with the previous two weeks. Totaljobs saw a weekly average of 1,600 healthcare roles advertised on site.
That trend continued to rise in the first week of April, with a 24 per cent increase compared to March’s weekly average, as Coronavirus continues to apply pressure on the UK’s healthcare system. Applications to public sector roles nearly trebled (188 per cent) in this period as candidates look to join others fighting the virus on the frontline.
A focus on social care
Those working in care continue to go above and beyond to support the elderly and vulnerable across the UK. With increasing demand, over 4,000 nursing and social care roles were advertised each week in March, with social care the second most active industry by number of vacancies. Candidate demand has continued into April, where there has been a 16 per cent increase in searches for social care roles. The social care industry attracted the third most applicants, with 2,500 in the first week of April.
Changing working practices
The data comes as the BCC launches the results of its Coronavirus Impact Tracker, which suggests that the majority of businesses have made changes to their working practises as a result of lockdown and strict social distancing measures. Two thirds of employers (66 per cent) are working remotely and half (50 per cent) are using video conferencing software to keep business on track.
While 24 per cent of firms have closed business operations temporarily, others have taken steps to adapt working practices:
-12 per cent have changed product or services
-14 per cent have used an online sales platform
-14 per cent have made use of delivery services
Responding to the data, BCC Director General Dr Adam Marshall said:
“With so many firms facing serious challenges as a result of the pandemic, it is encouraging to see that opportunities remain in some parts of the labour market during these extraordinary times. This reflects the huge efforts that the NHS and social care sector, logistics firms and others are making to look after those affected by COVID-19 and keep vital supplies flowing across the United Kingdom.
“Chambers of Commerce and their members are working together to play their part, including gathering unused PPE from local businesses and delivering it to the NHS. The resilience and innovation that characterises British business will mean both firms and their employees will make an important contribution to tackling the virus in the coming week and months.”
Totaljobs CEO, Jon Wilson said:
“Recent changes to the way we work have had a monumental impact on employers and employees alike. With the BCC’s Coronavirus Impact Tracker verifying a widespread take up of digital working, at Totaljobs we are also witnessing many businesses altering their typical output, to meet public demand for essential items.
With estimations that up to a million workers could find themselves displaced by the outbreak of Covid-19, for many, this presents the opportunity to find work within industries such as logistics, IT, social care, farming and agriculture and more.
In the coming weeks, we expect to see further diversifying of skills and specialities, from both businesses and the people they employ, signalling what was once a hypothetical shake-up of the UK’s employment market.
While this alleviates short-term pressures and helps business continuity, for employers hiring from different talent pools, the importance of successful onboarding is clear. By ensuring new recruits are properly integrated into ways of working, and arming them with the knowledge, background and training to succeed in the role, businesses can look to overcome longstanding skills shortages after restrictions loosen.”