One year has passed since the first lockdown measures were implemented and the reality of the pandemic started to bite. Almost immediately we saw stark rises in the number of employees either out of work or furloughed. In all but a few key sectors, most vacancies ground to a halt.

However, 12 months on, and thanks to the Government’s commitment to support businesses and employees, those currently out of work are perhaps not as high as feared.

The latest statistics show that vacancies are on the increase – with numbers in the three months to February 2021 significantly higher than last Summer. While there is evidence that this increase in vacancies has slowed, the important and positive point to note is that they are still growing – while those in employment grew by 68,000 in the last month too.

Commenting on the latest ONS data, Gi Group UK’s CEO, Paulo Canoa said “With restrictions set to ease as we chart the roadmap out of lockdown over the coming weeks, we anticipate an even stronger growth in vacancies – particularly in the retail, leisure sand hospitality sectors. Indeed, just this week Cineworld confirmed its opening schedule for May. If other major employers follow suit, vacancies and recruitment should step up rapidly.

Data from across the Gi Group of companies in the UK reinforces this message. It shows a similar rise in other sectors too as we are seeing higher demand for certain roles including Health & Safety, engineering and senior level finance roles – all understandable given the tangible impacts of Covid-19 and the areas where government investment has been focused.

All in all, as the vaccination programme continues apace, and restrictive measures begin to loosen, there is further cause for cautious optimism as the UK continues to rebuild from the impacts of Covid-19.”