A shortage of skilled workers and the struggle to fill vacancies continues to be a problem for businesses.

A lack of suitable candidates has meant wages and salaries for permanent and temporary jobs have risen sharply.

And now, with Christmas looming, those looking for new jobs are more likely to put their search on hold until the New Year, tightening the market still further.

Brian Stahelin, joint managing director at Huddersfield-based recruitment agency Stafflex, has offered an insight into the current jobs market and has some advice for employers.

He said: “There is no clear reason for the shortages but we believe it is a consequence of different reasons such as people leaving the UK due to Brexit as well as the pandemic causing huge disruption.

“Also, typically at this time of the year, we do not see much movement as people tend to stick in their roles preferring stability over the Christmas and New Year period.

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“So what can we do to combat the situation? Employers must consider lowering their expectations when recruiting and then upskilling those new starters to the required skill level.

“They need to be prepared to reduce their profits in order to invest in the staff through training and development.

“Also, think about taking mundane tasks away from the skilled workforce to allow them to do more of the high-level activities.

“Employers need to open dialogue with the education sector and tell them what skills they need to ensure courses are tailored to real world requirements.”

Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed the number of job vacancies in the UK reached a record high of 1.1 million between July and September, an increase of 318,000 from before the pandemic.