Market conditions continue to be extremely difficult for recruiting organisations as they face numerous simultaneous challenges. The latest ONS figures show that vacancies have risen to an all-time high of nearly 1.3 million while costs look set to rise and rise through the national insurance increase, climbing utility and material costs and the higher national living wage. With retention under severe threat too – as we saw job to job moves reach record numbers in the period October to December 2021 – ensuring resource and skills keep pace with an organisation’s requirements is proving more difficult than ever.

It is worrying therefore that the UK economic inactivity rate was estimated at 21.2% in the last quarter – 1.0% higher than before the Covid-19 pandemic. At a time when the number of vacancies is at a record high it is clear that more needs to be done to encourage these people into work. An ethos close to our hearts at Gi Group with our mission of evolving the labour market and to emphasise the personal and social value of work.

As Sam Beckett, ONS Head of Economic Statistics, said: “nearly 400,000 people…have disengaged from the world of work altogether and are neither working nor looking for a job.” The government and organisations must work together then to remove any potential barriers which may inhibit these individuals from looking for work if we are to tackle the skills gaps faced across sectors.

While the government’s ‘Way to Work’ initiative is certainly a step in the right direction as it aims to place 500,000 people into work by June, it does not take into account whether these candidates possess the skills required by the hiring organisations.

As Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), said “pushing someone into any vacant role, without taking into account their skills or experience, is counterproductive both for the candidate and the business.”

Identifying the skills required your organisation needs, and developing robust plans to meet them, will be critical in the current climate.


About Gi Group

Gi Group is one of the world’s leading companies that provide the best services for the development of the labour market. Gi Group is active in the fields of temporary recruitment, permanent and professional staffing, search and selection, executive search, outsourcing, training, outplacement and HR consultancy. Thanks to our direct presence and strategic partnerships in the UK and in more than 57 countries across Europe, APAC, the Americas and Africa, we can guarantee efficiency and quick response.

We are able to assist all clients and candidates, and we have developed strong expertise in large and multinational organisations, for which we have implemented global solutions through specialist divisions and dedicated local and international teams. Gi group are ranked globally as one of the largest staffing firms by Staffing Industry Analysts, and we are also a global corporate member of the World Employment Confederation (formerly CIETT).

If you are currently looking to recruit or want to learn more about Gi Group’s Workforce Solutions, please email