Public sector set to hire at fastest pace since 2015

Against a backdrop of austerity and staff shortages, ManpowerGroup has claimed that public sector employers are preparing to hire at the fastest pace since 2015.

The employment agency polled 2,100 employers across nine different sectors and found that a net balance of six per cent were planning to increase staff levels rather than make cuts in the final months of the year. The balance improved by four percentage points to two per cent on the public sector, representing the biggest rise in two years.

James Hick, managing director for ManpowerGroup Solutions, said: “This is the first time in over a year that public sector hiring plans have been in positive territory. June’s General Election outcome was seen in part as a rejection of austerity, and it looks like the public sector is powering on, as hiring ramps up. At the beginning of the year there were 86,000 vacancies in the NHS; the government recently announced that it will train an additional 1,500 doctors a year and create 20,000 new mental health posts.

"With the health service so heavily dependent on EU nationals, these hiring targets are going to be extremely difficult to meet. And that’s just the NHS - there are also tens of thousands of vacancies in other government departments.”

It has been widely reported that the government is planning to scrap the one per cent pay cap for public sector workers, with police and prison officers likely to be the first to break the current restrictions.

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