When it comes to times of austerity, the services sector is usually looked towards as a potential leader for forging an economic recovery. In the UK, it certainly seems as though exactly that has been happening. However, the three months leading up to August saw a significant slow in growth, causing those who are seeking employment in the area to worry about whether their potential career paths are safe.
Although growth has been consistent in the service sector overall, it slowed significantly during the three months leading up to August 2014. This information came from the latest CBI survey, which also noted that sectors like accountancy and marketing were seeing their slowest growth since November. Although there has been a sharp decrease in growth, those working and innovating in the sector have not lost their optimism.
Despite a slow down in service sector growth, the number of people employed in it has reached its highest levels in seven years. Approximately 75% of the UK’s economic output comes from the sector, which means it has led the way towards recovery following the recession. Those working at the CBI have been keen to point out that slower growth does not equate to a gear change in recovery. Instead, it should be seen as a natural process that occurs when growth starts to steady.
One fear firms in the industry have is that a skills shortage may lead to them hiring the wrong people. This seems to be a strong indicator that those wanting to enter the service sector will need to focus on training opportunities. One area that’s particularly starved is accountancy. Head to any graduate recruitment site and you will soon see that firms are willing to hire people from all kinds of degrees, while paying for the additional training they’ll require to become successful accountants.
According to HR Magazine, all of this means that there is an employment spree on the cards for the service sector. Approximately two thirds of employers (62%) are expecting to see a growth in their firms during the next quarter. Of those who are not feeling so optimistic, a lack of talent is named as the key reason for their inability to expand.
While it seems as though the government is placing strong emphasis on encouraging people into the tech and engineering sectors, the service sector is also calling out for bright young minds. For those who are considering university, this presents a good opportunity to hone in on a degree that’ll lead to rapid employment upon graduation.
Alternatively, there is a litany of graduate schemes that can train people from a variety of backgrounds, especially when it comes to managerial and accountancy positions. Leading HR experts are now recommending that businesses and the government work together to ensure that this skills shortage does not continue.