Millennials in East ‘struggling to find roles due to high expectations’

Manpower has published its latest quarterly Outlook report on job prospects.
Picture: Clifford Hick

Manpower has published its latest quarterly Outlook report on job prospects. Picture: Clifford Hicks.

High expectations among younger job seekers in the East of England in terms of pay and flexibility are making it hard for them to find suitable roles, according to a new survey.

This is despite strong competition between employers for the best candidates amid growing signs of workers from elsewhere in the European Union opting to leave the UK ahead of Brexit, the latest quarterly report from staffing and recruitment agency Manpower UK says.

Employers in the East are among the most optimistic in the country in terms of hiring intentions with an index reading of +8 – twice the national average of +4, which now stands at a five-year low.

This puts the region in joint third place, on a par with Yorkshire, with only the West Midlands and East Midlands (with readings of +12% and +11% respectively) currently more optimistic.

But according to Simon Edwards, the operations director at Manpower UK covering the East of England, under-25s in the region are not necessarily benefiting.

'We've seen a big increase in the number of 19- to 24-year-olds applying for work, but there seems to be a disconnect between the roles that they are applying for and the experience they have,' said Mr Edwards.

'There has been a mix of college and university leavers who expect flexible working arrangements and higher rates of pay as a standard, which is making it difficult for them to find suitable roles.'

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He added: 'At the same time, there is also a huge amount of competition between employers to find and retain the best candidates. With the uncertainty around Brexit negotiations continuing, a number of employers are already reporting that EU workers have chosen not to reside in the UK any longer.'

The East of England is continuing to benefit from particularly strong hiring intentions in the transport sector where, in addition to strong demand for drivers, firms have been seeking to 'stockpile' permanent employees ahead of any Brexit-related exodus, said Manpower.

The slump in optimism nationally has been drive by the dominant London jobs market where the index reading has fallen by three full percentage points in the past quarter to zero.

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