Half of firms to recruit in 2015

Sarah Davidson

December 22, 2014

Firms in Scotland are expected to lead the way followed by the North West of England and Wales.

Employees will also receive pay rises at a ‘cautious rate’ amidst ‘weak productivity’ according to CBI, as more than two in five (43%) firms are planning to reward their employees with a wage rise in line with the Retail Price Index.

Monetary Policy Committee member Martin Weale was optimistic about wage rises when speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live’s Wake up to Money programme this morning.

He said: “When I go and visit businesses throughout the country, I find that they are talking of pay increases in a way quite different say from what I was hearing early in the year, certainly this time last year.

“I’m getting a more general sense now that people are talking about pay increases which are materially higher than they’d offered in the past, whereas a year ago I would come across quite a few firms saying they were going to have a pay-freeze.”

The situation will improve for young people in particular, with more than a third of firms (36%) planning to recruit graduates and apprentices in 2015.

Businesses are looking to modernise, with more than nine in 10 (92%) firms recognising the importance of hiring people with digital literacy.

Katja Hall, CBI deputy director-general, said: “Businesses are planning to create jobs in every region of the UK next year as the recovery continues, and more and more of those jobs will be permanent.

“The outlook for young people is also looking brighter as firms look to boost their graduate in-take and expand apprenticeships.

“Growth should work for everyone, and skills are the key route to ensuring that this happens through improved productivity and pay.

He added: “Those in regular work through the year saw wages rise this year and this trend will continue in 2015.

“Overall, for those in regular work, wage increases have broadly kept pace with inflation, although those with more broken employment histories have seen little respite.”

Olly Benzecry, managing director for Accenture in the UK and Ireland, said: “The positive outlook on jobs growth revealed in this survey is a welcome sign of the UK’s economic recovery.

“However we must make sure we have workers with the skills required to drive the UK’s competitiveness, and this requires a comprehensive approach to skills development.

“The collaboration between government, education and business on the skills agenda alongside the investments being made in higher level apprenticeships are improving employment prospects for young people, while those companies investing in the digital literacy of their employees will be well-placed to capitalise on the rapid digitisation of the UK economy.”

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