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Acorn is the right solution for the recruitment needs of your business. Tell us what you need?



Like every other region, the South West is facing a time of current economic uncertainty and frequent reports of business failure, redundancies and rising unemployment are seen in the press. Employers find it hard to imagine that there are actually South West skills shortages. It’s certainly not doom and gloom as out of a recession those who can rise to meet the challenge succeed long term.

Here at Acorn Recruitment SW, we’re proud of the South West which is a “very distinctive region with some of the most successful local economies in the country” (South West Regional Employment & Skills Partnership in their ESF Framework report). There are certainly some rich employment sectors in the area, such as those relating to food, drink and hospitality and our area provides some of the best products and services within the UK.

However, despite the economic concerns, in line with the rest of the UK the 2011 Manpower Annual Talent Shortage Survey shows that 15% of all UK employers are experiencing difficulty in recruiting because of skills shortages. As far back as 2009 the National Employer Skills Survey (NESS) considered a number of South West job vacancies which were “hard to fill” and examined the reasons for this. Their research showed that overall, 22% of all vacancies remained unfilled simply because of skill shortages, with the main shortage areas being in hospitality, retail, engineering, health and construction. Statistics for the 2011 survey, although not yet fully released, are expected to be in line with the 2009 findings.

So even in these difficult times we understand that employers in the South West are facing recruitment issues and there are skill shortages even within the area’s rich employment sectors of food and drink and hospitality. We know that, from an employer’s perspective, this must be very frustrating. Does your own planning reflect the employment need and yet you can’t seem to fill the position?

So how can Acorn help?

We are based in the heart of the South West and can use our specialist local knowledge to help your business. We believe that there is no substitute for gaining local business knowledge by being a part of it so that you understand the area and its recruitment requirements and needs.  

The Skills and Learning Intelligence Module (SLIM) (part of the South West Regional Observatory funded by European Social Fund (ESF) has identified

Skills gaps - for skilled trade occupations, sales, customer service jobs, personal services and elementary occupations
Technical skills gaps - for employment rich sectors such as advanced manufacturing, food and drink, hospitality, health and care, retail, construction, land based businesses and service sector businesses

Understanding these gaps and the dynamics of the area means we can help employers in the South West to plan for and to meet these skill shortages, for example by ensuring that existing and prospective employees have the opportunity to complete apprenticeships which will provide the higher level skills (identified as level 3 and beyond) required.

We are experts at sourcing flexible solutions and our knowledge allows us to be flexible and innovative, such as involvement with Apprenticeship schemes.

It may seem obvious enough but our aim takes us to the bottom line of recruitment, to ensure that each employer is matched with the right candidate. This can only be based on an understanding and knowledge of the locality, its people and business dynamics.

Emerging Employment Opportunities?

We also agree with the ESF Framework report that there are some “local economies that have lagged behind”. There are also emerging employment areas, such as in renewable energy, to be considered and as leading South West recruiters we can help both employers and candidates meet these needs.

So whether you are an employer looking to fill vacancies or a candidate

looking for employment you can be sure that our knowledge

and understanding of the area will prove invaluable to you.  

Acorn Recruitment SW, committed to South West recruitment.