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UK – Mid-sized firms to hire but ex-public sector workers shunned

15 April 2013

71% of mid-sized businesses are creating jobs this year, up from 65% in the previous year. The latest Barclays Job Creation Survey 2013, which questioned over 700 UK businesses, found that the majority (79%) of businesses are not planning any job losses within the next 12 months.

But hiring intentions for 2013 vary between companies. Only 48% of small businesses are creating jobs this year while 65% of large businesses are planning to create jobs, fewer than last year when 72% intended to create more jobs.

50% of the largest businesses are planning to hire, a significant reduction in hiring intention, compared to previous 70% in 2012. Overall, 56% of all companies plan to create new jobs this year, a slight decline of 2% from the previous year.

“Mid-sized businesses have continued to weather the economic storm, and still have room to flourish and grow, which explains their willingness to hire,” said Ian Stuart, managing director at Barclays Corporate Banking.

“Comparatively, the UK’s largest companies might not have reduced headcount in recent years in the expectation that the economic conditions would improve. As their people are often multi-skilled they can be moved to other areas within the business, so there’s less of a need to create new jobs.”

According to the research, 57% of businesses do not want to hire former public sector workers, matching results in previous year when 58% and 57% said so in 2012 and 2011 respectively.

While the majority of businesses believe that job growth in the private sector won’t be able to compensate for public sector job losses, there is some good news for public sector workers.  60% of the UK’s largest companies are willing to hire ex-public sector workers, compared to only 38% last year. At the same time 52% of UK businesses believe public sector workers are ‘not very’ or ‘not at all’ equipped to take on a position in their organisations.

“The UK’s largest companies are the most interested in taking on public sector workers, as they have skills which can be transferred, yet unfortunately they are less likely to be recruiting this year,” said Mr Stuart.  “This continues to leave ex-public sector workers in a challenging position, as the on-going rebalancing of the economy means many have to seek opportunities in the private sector.”


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