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Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN HL1011, tabled on 10 June 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many job vacancies there are in England; what assessment they have made as to whether there are sufficient workers available to fill those vacancies, particularly in the (1) IT and computing, and (2) hospitality, sectors; and what plans they have to address any skills gaps.

Answered on

23 June 2021

The Government actively monitors the UK labour market. The latest ONS statistics suggest that, between March and May 2021, there were 758,000 vacancies in the economy, only 27,000 below the pre-pandemic level.

We are actively supporting the hospitality sector on its road to recovery. We are offering generous incentives to employers to recruit staff, with hundreds of young people starting work every day through the Kickstart Scheme. We are providing employers with a hiring incentive for each new apprentice they hire and have increased the payment to £3,000 for each newly hired apprentice of any age, helping more people to kick start or upskill their career across a broad range of industries. We are also investing £126 million in additional support to help create 40,000 more traineeships in England, funding high-quality work placements and training for 16-24-year olds in 2021-22.

The digital transformation is driving rises in the number of tech and digital jobs advertised, providing an opportunity to get people into good quality work. According to Adzuna estimates, there were 132,000 tech job vacancies in the UK in May, making up 12% of all open vacancies. There are nearly three million jobs in the digital tech economy, more than either Construction (1.9m) or Financial Services (1.2m) and the sector accounts for 9% of the UK’s workforce.

The 10 Tech Priorities, launched by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in March, includes ‘’building a tech savvy nation’’. Our apprenticeships and digital bootcamps will help set people up for highly skilled, highly paid roles of the future.

Encouraging many more skilled people to enter digital roles is vital if the UK is to have the digital skills it requires. In order to coordinate industry support for the teaching of computing in English schools, DCMS created the Digital Skills Partnership Schools group. In order to raise the awareness of interesting digital roles and routes into them, the Digital Skills Partnership Schools Group is working with industry to test how best to do this. The pilot, funded by DCMS, is being run by the South West Local Digital Skills Partnership.