East Midlands businesses set to create more jobs in 2016

Tom Copson, associate director at Grant Thornton in Leicester.

More than half of medium sized businesses across the East Midlands are set to create new jobs in 2016, according to a survey conducted by the Leicester office of business and financial advisory firm Grant Thornton.

57 per cent of Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire businesses say they will increase headcount over the next 12 months. The new positions will be at all levels, with the majority of recruitment concentrating on growing the number of apprentices and graduates, with fewer new roles at junior and senior management levels.

However, 71 per cent of employers taking part in the survey see available talent and skills as a continuing barrier to successful recruitment, with only 14 per cent believing local talent pools are sufficient to meet their requirements. Just 43 per cent of businesses say they have an active apprenticeship programme.

The poll set-out to provide an insight into the recruitment and training plans and activities of East Midlands-based businesses as part of a practical update event hosted by Grant Thornton in Leicester. Speakers at the FD Club event included Bjorn Jones, director at Bluesource recruitment company, and Paula Whelan of bespoke consultancy business Whelan Legal.

Grant Thornton’s FD Club provides updates and strategic thinking on areas important to a business, its growth and sustainability. The ‘Hiring, Firing and Inspiring’ event – which took place last week – provided a practical guide to recruitment, performance management and staff retention.

Tom Copson, associate director at Grant Thornton in Leicester and head of its training and recruitment programme, said: “This event included useful legal, tax and commercial tips on how to bring the best talent into a business, as well as practical advice on managing underperformers and incentivising and retaining a business’ top performers.

“With representatives from a range of industries and professions from across the East Midlands attending, the event was an ideal opportunity to test local employers’ views on the region’s talent and skills pool, and identify any plans they have for expanding their workforce in the next 12 months.

“Our research revealed that East Midlands businesses are confident for the next year. The local economy would seem to be performing well, and with more than half of local employers intending to create new jobs in 2016, there are real signs of sustained business confidence, although available skills continues to be a concern.”

Grant Thornton’s Leicester office has approximately 120 staff providing business and financial advice across Corporate and Personal Tax, audit and assurance, employer solutions, corporate finance, and sustainability, to organisations across the East Midlands.