Hiring problems have reached record levels as three out of four companies struggle to hire staff, according to the British Chamber of Commerce.

The BCC said around 61% of firms were looking for staff in the second quarter, up from 60% in the first quarter. But 76% reported difficulties.

Around 5,700 businesses were surveyed to find that the construction sector faces the biggest challenge, followed by manufacturing, manufacturing and hospitality.

BCC head of policy Jane Gratton said: “Businesses are still under huge pressure to fill vacancies, but record recruitment difficulties show no signs of ameliorating.

“Solutions are urgently needed so that firms can keep their doors open during these difficult times.

“We have written a three-point plan to the government on how they can work with business to tackle this problem.

“Firms should be encouraged to find new ways to unlock talent – by investing more in training their workforce, adopting more flexible working methods and increasing the use of apprenticeships.”

The survey found that less than one in three firms increased investment in the past three months.

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Ms Grattan said: “There are 1.3 million unfilled jobs in our economy and fewer people in the workforce now than before the pandemic.

“It’s holding back productivity and growth, and employers are at their wits end.

“It puts livelihoods at risk and hurts the economy.

“Employers cannot wait for a new Prime Minister before this is resolved. Shortages not only affect their ability to service their order books, but also the morale and well-being of their people.

“The economic challenge we face is enormous, and unless we begin to fill the hole created by the 1.3 million jobs, we will not be able to return to growth.”

The news comes a day after the CEO of the Confederation of British Industry, Tony Dunker, wrote an open letter to Tory leadership candidates calling for economic growth to be a priority.

https://news.sky.com/story/recruitment-problems-at-record-highs-as-76-of-companies-struggle-to-hire-new-staff-12652034

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