Construction sector sees highest number of vacancies in Norfolk
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Norfolk’s construction sector is in desperate need of workers, as figures reveal the industry has the highest number of job vacancies in the county.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) from May to July 2021, the estimated number of vacancies in the UK reached its highest level since records began in 2001 – with an estimated 953,000 vacancies.
From data revealed by online job board, the CV Library, more than 2,900 vacancies were recorded in Norfolk in August.
Chris Starkie, the chief executive of The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, which works with businesses, local authorities and education institutions to drive growth and enterprise in Norfolk, said employers are facing “unprecedented challenges with recruitment” brought on by the pandemic and Brexit.
Last month the construction industry had the highest number of job vacancies with 338 in Norfolk and 125 in Norwich.
This was followed by engineering with 267 job vacancies county-wide and 115 in Norwich.
Among the highest figures also included social care and manufacturing.
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Mr Starkie said: “Construction has found itself in a perfect storm with record demand and massive shortfalls in supplies compounded by a shortage of lorry drivers and skilled tradespeople.
“There are twice the number of people retiring from the industry than are coming into it and work needs to be done to promote the wide variety of roles and excellent career opportunities that construction offers people of all ages.”
Bateman Groundworks is a Norfolk-based construction company which will celebrate its 25th anniversary next year and employs around 150 people across the county.
Frankie Yallop is the company’s HR manager who said although the company does not currently have an issue with staff recruitment and retention, it is a difficult time for the industry and its employers.
She said: “What Chris Starkie has referred to is 100pc correct. That is what we are finding in the construction industry as a whole at the moment.
“We need to encourage more people to come into the construction industry and open their eyes to what other opportunities it can offer.
“It doesn't necessarily mean you're a ground worker or a bricklayer it could mean you are an accountant, a quantity surveyor, HR manger, receptionist or administrator.
“Ideally, we want to see more school leavers coming to join us so we can train them up for the future. It’s really important because they are the people who will keep the industry going.”