LMI: The 3 R’s

We have been hard at workk here at Linking London finalising a labour market report focusing on the current London labour market and projections for the future. The report includes details on employer’s attitudes to, amongst other things, recruitment of adults and young people and training. I wanted to share 3 important findings from the report, the 3 R’s. I’m not referring to reading, writing, and arithmetic, but rather recruitment, resilience and replacement demand.

The Employer Perspectives Survey 2016 report, undertaken by IFF Research on behalf of the DfE, showed that when recruiting staff, employers (in England) were more likely to use informal or internal methods of recruitment, such as word of mouth or personal recommendations (80%), placing adverts on their website (54%), or using social media (46%) as opposed to more external resources such as paid-for recruitment services and government recruitment schemes. There was considerable variation by sector: construction employers, for example, were much less likely to use internal online mechanisms such as their own website or social media, while word of mouth dominated. The sizeable proportion of employers (18%) who only used one method of recruitment, or who exclusively used internal resources to recruit (28%) point to a group of employers who are potentially limiting their ability to access the skills they need and also presents challenges to young people trying to enter the labour market.

Drawing on data from CBI/Pearson 2017 Education and Skills Survey, Helping the UK Thriveone of the factors that employers were least satisfied with in terms of school and college leavers was there perceived attitudes/behaviours, in particular, resilience. 48% of employers were not satisfied on this factor, with only 5% very satisfied. While we should never underestimate the importance of formal qualifications in terms of what employers look for in young applicants, as they are valuable indicators of achievement and ability, it is clear that these attitudes and attributes are at least as important and often lacking in applicants. Essential life skills such as confidence, motivation, resilience and communication are associated with better academic outcomes and better prospects in the workplace. This would suggest more work is needed to better prepare young applicants for the world of work.

Based on data from the UKCES Working Futures 2014-2024 report, replacement demand accounts for the vast majority of job openings, over 80% of the projected overall labour requirement in all regions and nations of the UK. Replacement demand is created by people leaving their jobs due to retirement, family reasons, career moves or other reasons. Focusing on London, replacement demand for professionals and associate professionals dominates (4 of the top 5 occupations in terms of the largest replacement demand). Replacement demands lead to job openings for all industries and occupations, including those in which the net level of employment is expected to decline significantly. This has important implications for individuals who may be considering their future career and education and training options, since even those occupations where employment is projected to decline may still offer good career prospects.

If you are a member of Linking London and would like a copy of our LMI report: Key Sectors Within London’s Economy: Continuing Trends and Growth Sectors, Plus the Needs of the Future please do get in touch at