Growth in job adverts for education roles as UK hits new record high

UK/September 25, 2021/by Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC)/Source:

New record number of job adverts in the UK, with labour shortages set to continue (@RECPress)

In the week of 13-19 September, there were 1.90 million active job adverts posted in the UK, according to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC)’s latest Jobs Recovery Tracker . This is a new record high for the tracker, which started collecting data in January 2020.

There were 223,000 new job adverts posted last week, the second highest weekly figure since data collection began. Moreover, this growth was seen across the entire country, with every upper tier local authority in the UK seeing a rise in active job postings last week. This all suggests that the current labour shortage problems are not going away as demand for staff increases.

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, said:

“Job postings are rising in every area of the UK. That’s good news, and we are seeing more employees starting new positions than ever – but demand from employers is even higher still. There is a real chance now that shortages of available workers will slow the recovery. A recent REC survey of recruiters found that three in five have over 30% more vacancies than usual, and 97% said it’s taking longer to fill them. Labour shortages and the related recruitment difficulties put constraints on the economy, restricting output growth and innovation, so it’s vital we solve them quickly.

“Government departments must come together with industry experts to solve the shortage crisis with pragmatic and practical steps. But politicians and businesses must also do their part individually – government by addressing training at lower skill levels and allowing more flexibility in the immigration system; and companies by improving workforce planning and focusing on improved conditions and facilities as ways to attract and retain staff, not just pay.”

While growth was recorded in every local area in the UK, Scotland saw the largest increase in active job postings last week. Four out of the top ten hiring hotspots last week were in Scotland, the most notable being Na h-Eileanan Siar (+29.0%). This was followed by the Shetland Islands (+21.9%), Perth and Kinross and Stirling (+17.8%) and the Orkney Islands (+13.1%).

Thurrock (+1.3%), North and North East Lincolnshire (+1.5%), and Isle of Wight (+1.5%) were the areas that recorded only a marginal increase in active job postings compared to the rest of the UK.

There was a significant increase in adverts for education roles as students returned to classrooms in September. Support roles such as school secretaries (+17.6%), school midday and crossing patrol occupations (+16.4%), educational support assistants (+9.8%) and caretakers (+9.6%) recorded the highest increases in active job postings in the week of 13-19 September.

On the other hand, dispensing opticians (-11.4%), photographers, audio-visual and broadcasting equipment operators (-9.2%), and pharmacy and other dispensing assistants (-7.2%) saw the steepest weekly declines in active job adverts.

Matt Mee, Director of Workforce Intelligence at Emsi Burning Glass, said:

“The labour market in the UK is in a somewhat odd position at the moment. On the one hand, we are seeing a very high number of vacancies and job postings. On the other hand, employers in a number of sectors are reporting that they are really struggling to fill these positions, which is not really something we would have expected to see a few months ago. Nor is this a peculiarly British phenomenon, with a recent survey of 45,000 companies across 43 countries showing 69% of organisations reporting difficulties in filling roles. Although this appears to be driven by a variety of factors, what it suggests is that employers are going to have to work harder to fill their vacancies if they are to survive and thrive. This might mean a number of things, including raising the salaries they are offering; charting clearer and better career progressions for employees; looking for talent pools in other areas; and seeking to create better and more flexible working conditions to attract new workers.”

Top ten and bottom ten county/unitary authorities for growth in job postings:

County/unitary authority Unique active job postings, 13-19 September Change in active job postings, 6-12 September to 13-19 September
Na h-Eileanan Siar 7,800 29.0%
Shetland Islands 1,295 21.9%
Perth and Kinross and Stirling 9,502 17.8%
Stoke-on-Trent 6,341 17.2%
Newry, Mourne and Down 2,854 13.8%
Swansea 5,253 13.3%
Orkney Islands 441 13.1%
Wolverhampton 5,836 12.4%
Southend-on-Sea 2,908 11.8%
Greater Manchester South East 8,760 11.4%
Telford and Wrekin 4,991 3.4%
Tower Hamlets 5,716 3.2%
Mid Lancashire 18,001 3.0%
Argyll and Bute 2,045 2.9%
South Ayrshire 1,633 2.6%
Kingston upon Hull, City of 5,643 2.6%
Dudley 5,081 1.8%
Isle of Wight 1,846 1.5%
North and North East Lincolnshire 5,317




Thurrock 6,249 1.3%

Top ten and bottom ten occupations by growth in job postings:

Occupation Unique active job postings, 13-19 September Change in active job postings, 6-12 September to 13-19 September
School secretaries 2,678 17.6%
School midday and crossing patrol occupations 2,478




Podiatrists 749 12.0%
Building and civil engineering technicians 1,516




Protective service associate professionals 596




Town planning officers 1,281 10.5%
Educational support assistants 10,689




Postal workers, mail sorters, messengers and couriers 2,251




Caretakers 2,644 9.6%
Market research interviewers 1,583




Refuse and salvage occupations 1,849 -0.1%


Glaziers, window fabricators and fitters 577 -1.5%


Vehicle paint technicians 316 -1.6%
Vehicle valeters and cleaners 722 -1.6%


Conference and exhibition managers and organisers 7,271 -1.7%


Butchers 317 -2.8%
Undertakers, mortuary and crematorium assistants 383 -5.7%


Pharmacy and other dispensing assistants 3,477 -7.2%


Photographers, audio-visual and broadcasting equipment operators  





Dispensing opticians 884 -11.4%

Key indicator occupations

Occupation Unique active job postings, 13-19 September Change in active job postings, 6-12 September to 13-19 September
Metal working production and maintenance fitters 22,956 8.7%
Chefs 36,471 7.8%
Chartered and certified accountants 4,360 6.7%
Fitness instructors 4,078 6.4%
Marketing associate professionals 29,086




Carpenters and joiners 6,888 5.6%
Cleaners and domestics 28,220 5.6%
Sales and retail assistants 32,615 5.4%
Programmers and software development professionals 75,472




Primary and nursery education teaching professionals 32,942




Nurses 87,680 4.8%
Care workers and home carers 55,019




Waiters and waitresses 4,034 2.2%
Large goods vehicle drivers 7,513 2.0%
Hairdressers and barbers 1,090 1.4%
Mechanical engineers 705 1.3%
Bar staff 6,557 1.1%


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Docente - Investigadora Educativa.
Doctora en Cs. de la Educación, Magíster en Desarrollo Curricular y Licenciada en Relaciones Industriales.

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Growth in job adverts for education roles as UK hits new record high – Sarraute Educación María Magdalena

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