Somerset Chamber

Talk to the team 01823 444924


Tell us your business news

Learn more


Chamber news

Investment in skills vital as vacancies continue to fall

The UK jobs market is showing signs of stalling, according to latest official figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Pay growth, excluding bonuses, eased to 7.3% in the three months to October while the number of vacancies dropped.

The number of people on payrolls eased while UK job vacancies also continued to fall, this time by 45,000 between September and November.

Jane Gratton, Deputy Director of Public Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Labour market data continues to send mixed messages, as vacancies trend downward, but unemployment and employment remain largely static and pay growth outstrips inflation.

“But while we may have fewer vacancies, we still have a major shortage of skills across our economy. This is holding back productivity and growth.  So now is the time to redouble efforts to prepare, upskill and reskill the workforce for the changes and opportunities ahead of us.

“These remain challenging times for firms and the BCC’s most recent forecast predicts the economy will grow by just 0.6% in 2024 and business investment will contract by 0.8%.  Government must do all it can to help businesses invest more in apprenticeships, technical education and upskilling people in work.

“Every day, employers are struggling to fill jobs, so it’s essential that everyone who wants to work is given the opportunities and training they need to do so, urgently.

“The Autumn Statement included some welcome steps, but with the immigration system now looking out of reach for most businesses, the Government must encourage investment in skills training and set out a stable, long-term strategy to support this.”

Connect. Influence. Grow.

Join Somerset Chamber of Commerce to give your business a stronger voice both locally, regionally and nationally. Combined with local town chambers, we represent over 2,000 businesses across Somerset with a direct line to policy-makers at all levels.

Discover the benefitsJoin now