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Skills shortages ‘hindering’ NHS recruitment

1 November 2013

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Local and national skills shortages have been cited as the biggest hardship in recruiting for the NHS. 

NHS Employers’ annual survey found that 60% of HR directors believe local or national skill shortages are making it harder to recruit qualified nurses. 

And 29% of all the hard to fill vacancies in the UK are for nursing positions. 

To fill the vacancies, employers have focused on recruitment campaigns and international recruitments, and to a lesser extent temporary staff. 

Nineteen organisations (33%) reported having recruited from outside of the UK during the last 12 months, of which we know they were most frequently filling medical and nursing vacancies from European Economic Area (EEA) countries, such as Spain and Portugal.

The report concludes: “Recruitment and retention does continue to be generally stable in the NHS across the country. Where there are known local recruitment challenges the survey indicates that employers are taking various actions to resolve and where hard to fill vacancies are part of known wider labour supply problems, national solutions are being explored.

“Some employers have reported receiving large numbers of applicants for some of the vacancies they advertise. Oversupply is most prevalent among the support workforce and admin & clerical staff groups. However, the poor quality of applicants to vacancies in the support workforce is also a recurrent theme among respondents.”

The full report is available to view online