The healthcare sector continues to fall short of job applicants with recent data showing a 42% decline in people applying for vacancies between June 2022 and July 2022, complicating preparations for a potential Covid-19 surge during the colder months. That’s according to recent research from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).
The data, provided by the world’s largest network of job boards, Broadbean Technology, also shows that yearly applications plunged 51% when comparing July 2022 to the same period in 2021.
While part of this decline can be attributed to the 14% month-on-month drop in vacancies, the sheer scale of decline in application numbers is cause for concern for an already skill short sector.
A key contributor to this decline in applicants is likely to be the underwhelming pay increases that staff in the sector are experiencing, with year-on-year salaries only rising 3% at a time when inflation rates are expected to reach 13% by the end of the year.
The regional picture for 2022 reveals that Greater London has had by far the highest number of job vacancies for medical and nursing roles in 2022 so far, with 10,072 vacancies in the months leading up to July.
The capital is followed by the West Midlands (3,614), West Yorkshire (2,214), Greater Manchester (2,180), Surrey (2,142) and Essex (2,081.) Concerningly, when analysing Application per Vacancy (APV) rates, Greater London didn’t even rank in the top 10, with an APV of just 9 applications submitted for every role. Out of the top 10, Surrey had the highest APV, with a moderate 11, followed by Greater London, West Yorkshire (7), West Midlands (7) and Kent (6).
Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo said, “The sudden notable drop in healthcare application numbers from June to July 2022 will be a worry for recruiters and employers alike. While it’s abundantly clear that more needs to be done to entice people into the sector, what could be of more concern are the number of people leaving the sector due to burnout or less than satisfactory pay rises.
“With salary showing just a 3% yearly increase and staff shortages amplified by Brexit, the sector is facing an incredibly tough time. For this reason, the Government may need to re-evaluate and step in to aid recruitment and retention within the sector.”