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Report Shows Unprecedented Increase in Starting Salaries – the highest in 24 years

As we enter the final quarter of 2021, it’s amazing to reflect on the major changes the UK economy has experienced and how rapidly the time has passed. At Redline Group, the trusted Electronics and High-Technology recruitment specialist for professional Contract, Permanent, and Executive, we’ve welcomed many new staff into our business and become an integral part our customers’ decision making to navigate through the most volatile recruitment landscape, while delivering some of the most exciting projects in UK electronics.

October has signalled further positive outlook for the Engineering & Technology sector; businesses are committed to growth and optimism is strong. The IMF, in its latest report (published 12th October) expect the UK economy to grow by 6.8 per cent in 2021. Data also suggests that output should return to pre-Covid levels in early 2022.

The latest KPMG and REC, UK ‘Report on Jobs’ for October provides the most comprehensive guide on the UK labour market, drawing on data provided by recruitment consultancies, such as Redline Group and employers to provide indication of market trends.

The key findings from October’s report indicate:

  • Hiring activity rises sharply again amid robust demand for staff
  • Candidate supply falls at near record rate
  • UK vacancies exceed 1 million for first time ever
  • Competition for staff increases - Starting salaries and contract rates rise at fastest pace for 24 years
  • 3 in 5 recruiters report business levels 30% higher than pre-covid levels

The recruitment landscape has portrayed a consistent picture throughout 2021; candidate availability declines at record rates as businesses accelerate their hiring plans. These competing factors have created fierce competition for staff, causing significant pay pressures and longer periods of time where critical roles remain unfulfilled.

Business confidence remains high, demonstrated by a 35.2% increase in quarterly vacancies, taking the total number of advertised jobs to its highest ever level.  For Engineering & Technology organisations, scarce-skill candidate shortages are not new - it is crucial to adopt agility and innovation in the hiring process, embracing closer-than-ever partnerships with trusted recruitment partners, implement new processes & systems and act quickly in this candidate driven market.

The global electronics sector grew sharply in September, but 2021 has been a challenging year for resource-stricken electronics businesses, spurred on by continuing difficulties sourcing critical components and technical staff shortages, the ‘war for talent’ has not abated. The IHS Markit Global Electronics PMI report shows growing demand in key markets such as China, Japan, Taiwan, Europe, and the US, yet production schedules are being lengthened substantially by supply-side issues, in some cases causing postponed orders. In anticipation of continued shortages, businesses are opting to secure larger inventories, keeping pressure on price and availability for some time to come.

Commenting on the PMI data, Joe Hayes, Senior Economist at IHS Markit said: “It's difficult to envisage the supply-side of the manufacturing sector catching up with the demand-side any time soon."

In the automotive market and despite optimistic predictions of improvement, car makers are suffering the worst semiconductor shortages ever, many now finding themselves competing for components with smartphone and PC manufacturers. New car models are loaded with an increasing amount of electronics and the limited component supply has created bottlenecks or a complete cut in production output.

For more information on our knowledge-led approach to recruitment or the outlook for 2022, please contact us on 01582 450054 or email


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