The number of job vacancies on offer in the UK is rising at the fastest rate in over 15 years due to a shortage of skilled staff, new data has shown.

A recent jobs survey by the Recruitment Employment Confederation/KPMG has found that in January of this year the number of job vacancies rose at its fastest pace since May 1998.

While this points towards positive things for job seekers, the lack of skilled people to fill the roles poses a potential problem for the country’s economic recovery. Recruitment consultants have also reported that staff availability has continued to decline.

Tom Hadley, director of policy at the REC, said:

“There are skills shortages across all sectors. This again underlines just how critical the issue of skills shortages is becoming, as businesses will not be able to contribute to economic growth if they cannot find the skilled workers they need.

“Part of the solution is to develop a careers guidance network that is fit for purpose. There’s been a disconnect between careers advice since what was available was replaced with a website.

“People need to be made aware of the growing sectors and what skills will be needed in the future, they also need to be taught the mechanics of finding work.”

Mr Hadley also suggested local companies get involved by helping to develop skills and ‘harness business knowledge.’ He warns that unless more is done to improve the calibre of applicants, business growth could significantly suffer.