THE cream of East Anglia’s job seekers are commanding increased salaries as they pick and choose between job offers, according to an annual employment market survey.

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Despite the continuing economic uncertainty, the Cooper Lomaz Salary Survey, now in its 10th year, highlights an “unprecedented” skills shortage across sectors including IT, engineering, food manufacturing and accountancy.

The study identifies an increased demand for specific skills, an insufficient pool of workers with required skills and a lack of candidates with relevant degrees or experience.

It also identifies a vacuum in middle and senior ranks as older workers retire and a “stay put” culture among senior staff created by the uncertain economic climate.

Jane Lovell, co-founder and joint managing director of regional recruitment consultancy Cooper Lomaz, which produces the report, said urgent action was required to address the skills shortage.

“Businesses must acknowledge the skills gap and should respond accordingly if they want to maintain a competitive edge,” she said.

“We’re seeing skills shortages across all sectors. Candidates are finding they are getting multiple job offers. We have been educating clients to ‘think outside the box’ to find out what prospective employees can bring to their organisation.”

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