Equine Transition #2 - Page 44

january 2019 | Job SEARCHING

Equine Transition / 44

Wider Industry Issue

These statistics and the discussion to date has focused solely on stable staff. However, staffing shortages are not confined to those working in yards. Many organisations and businesses across the equine industry are struggling with workloads, due to reduced staffing numbers. In offices, it may be that it’s budget issues squeezing staff numbers down rather than lack of suitable applicants. Whatever the reason, the vast majority are understaffed. Everyone is trying to do as much as possible with as little as possible. It’s a reflection of the times.

We’re Not Alone!

Skills gaps are affecting the majority of industries. The UK Employer Skills Survey published by the Department for Education in August 2018 found there was an 8% increase in skill-shortage vacancies across all industries on the previous year. However, this was proportionately in line with an increase in vacancies.

11% of all vacancies were deemed hard to fill based on reasons unrelated to applicant skill-level such as location, unsociable hours, unattractive terms or poor transport links. Crucially this increased at twice the pace of new vacancies during the same period. Suggesting a growing non-skills related recruitment challenge across the UK and many industries.

Why It’s a Good Thing

On a positive note, the jobs are being created and are there to be filled, which is fantastic. Let’s hope it stays that way. It wasn’t long ago, during the 2008 financial downturn that there were few advertised equine jobs on the online boards. As mentioned, it’s a candidate-led market at the moment, which of course presents it’s own set of challenges, however, on the whole, it’s a positive thing. The opportunities are being created and it means there's increased competition between employers to attract good candidates. Which should help improve working conditions, terms and benefits, because candidates have more choice.

The workers are in a strong position and it seems they’ve already voted with their feet. Their concerns are being heard and they’re driving this change. If the industry can work to address their concerns and make working in racing a more attractive prospect it will be for the good of the industry in the long term.

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