Job figures up including retail

Job figures up including retail

By Kate Southam

Christmas retail employment will still be stronger than last year despite the interest rate hike, a leading recruiter claims.

IPA Recruitment’s Darrell Hewton says retailers had already secured stock for the holiday season as well as agreed to a head count and these arrangements would not change. Hewton says that if anything, casual retail staff could find themselves in greater demand if Christmas sales are slow and the January sales need to be extended into February.

“Everyone knew an interest rate increase was coming this quarter. It didn’t happen when expected in October and instead was announced in November but everyone knew it would happen before December,” says Hewton, IPA’s general manager sales & marketing.

IPA’s job vacancies increased 6.9 per cent in October after a 5.7 per cent drop in September.

Hewton says demand for candidates is up in retail, small to medium sized companies (SMEs) and the mining sectors in particular. Roles in greatest demand include executive assistants and trainers, healthcare roles and mining engineering roles.

He says that while EAs and trainers were “the first [roles] to be rationalised during the downturn … a clear demand is emerging as business and the economy strengthens.”

“We are on the path way to a skills shortage. It might not move as quickly as the last skills shortage but it will be deeper.”

Hewton says employers would need to change their attitude to investing in training to create their own pools of talent rather than rely “on fishing in the same pond” as competitors if they want to avoid getting caught out in the war for talent.

He says youth unemployment was still high representing a candidate pool that could be developed and he expected an influx of migrants from the UK as announced job cuts took shape there.

Mining employers were also looking for experienced engineers and engineering trades people. Hewton says housing remains in short supply in remote mining areas sending accommodation costs sky rocketing. As employers pay for the accommodation costs of workers they only want people ready to go as they represented a better return on investment than green workers who need further investment via training.

Article from CareerOne, November 5, 2010.


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