Liverpool Hope University commended in national recruitment report

Big businesses set their sights on the North West talent pool, with one in five looking to recruit from within the region over the next five to 10 years. Tony McDonough reports.

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Major UK businesses set sights on digital talent in North West


That’s according to new research from Universities UK (UUK), which surveyed 100 senior leaders and talent acquisition specialists at FTSE350 companies.

Research also reveals business leaders are prioritising life long learning as the economy adapts and the UK seeks to become a global superpower in green innovation, science and technology.

More than half (54%) of those surveyed say they expect the future workforce will need to retrain at least once in their career due to the rapid pace of technological change, while 56% say the government needs to make university courses more accessible to workers in their mid-to-late career.

A report from UUK, Jobs of the future, indicates that more than 11 million extra graduates will be needed to fill jobs in the UK by 2035, over one million will be needed in the North West of England alone.

Universities in the North West of England were commended in the report for their focus on building jobs for the future, including Liverpool Hope University, which offers a number of courses designed to develop skills in emerging industries such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and virtual and augmented reality.

Universities UK’s chief executive, Vivienne Stern MBE, said: “We look forward to working with universities and the government to make the lifelong learning vision a reality. With demographics shifting and technology evolving, it’s an exciting opportunity to make sure the UK has the higher education system it needs for the future.”

More than half (52%) of those surveyed by UUK said the shift to hybrid or remote working means they are more likely to recruit outside major hubs, such as London, presenting major opportunities for the talent pool in the North West of England.

Additionally, 59% said the shift to hybrid or remote working has already positively impacted their business in terms of the quality of talent they can now recruit from outside of major hubs.

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The Jobs of the future report anticipates a boom in the digital and tech sector over the next five years, in part due to the shift to renewable energy. Digitally-enabled jobs, such as specialists in e-commerce, digital transformation and digital marketing and strategy, are expected to create around four million jobs globally by 2027.

Alex Hall-Chen, Principal Policy Advisor for Sustainability, Skills, and Employment at the Institute for Directors, said: “Persistent and acute skills shortages is one of the most pressing concerns for UK businesses. The demand for transferable skills – such as critical thinking and communication – remains strong across all sectors, and the UK’s higher education sector will play a crucial role in building a talent pipeline with the skills that businesses need to thrive.”

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