Surge in UK fintech, manufacturing and vacancies

A "massive" increase in professional vacancies in the UK, a record high in manufacturing output and an optimistic forecast for the nation's fintech sector are all being reported this week.

Photo illustrating an article about fintech in the UK
For a third month running, year-on-year jobs data for the professional sectors show a surge in permanent vacancies, with a 116% increase on May 2020.Data provided by analytics platform cube19 also showed that contract openings were up 120%, according to the latest 'Professional Trends Snapshot Report' from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).Ann Swain, chief executive of APSCo said, “We are now seeing a clear trend of recovery from our monthly data, which mirrors the economic forecasts we are seeing from government."It is also clear that this continues to be a candidate led market with skills shortages in all our professional sectors."Recent macroeconomic factors - such as Brexit and the resulting immigration policy making it difficult for skilled contractors to work in the UK - will only exacerbate these skill shortages which means a busy time ahead for recruitment firms."As we go into the summer and restrictions start to relax even further, we expect to see the data getting better and better.”Meanwhile, Jinesh Vohra, founder of Open Banking tech company Sprive, is reporting renewed confidence that London will continue to be the fintech hub of the world for the foreseeable future.“Nowhere in Europe rivals the scale of the fintech industry like the UK and the intention should be to keep it that way. Certainly, prior to Brexit there was much speculation that London would losing its place in the fintech space, but we didn’t consider that for a moment," he said this week.“A combination of investment and competitiveness continues to put London at the forefront of fintech advancement, and when combined with customer pressure to innovate, more change within the financial services’ sector will be driven for the better – and importantly to benefit both the industry and the consumer.”Mr Vohra also believes that the proposed £1 billion ‘Fintech Growth Fund’ will also become a major boost for start-ups - an essential ingredient in a sector now worth more than £11 billion to the UK’s economy and which represents 10% of the global market share.And as for the manufacturing sector, a report from the industry's trade body, Make UK, in collaboration with business advisory firm BDO, found that not only had output volumes reached their highest levels in the survey's history, but that employment intentions had surged and that investment intentions had turned positive for the first time since Q1 of last year.The survey's growth forecast for 2021 has now been substantially upgraded from 3.9% to 7.8%.Fhaheen Khan, senior economist at Make UK, said, “Manufacturing growth is now firmly accelerating as restrictions have been eased and economies around the globe have started to open up. Looking forward there seems no reason to believe that this will not continue, assuming the shackles come off firmly in the second half of the year.“However, given we are coming from a very low base, worse than during the financial crisis, we have to bear in mind that there was bound to be a rubber band impact this year."Furthermore, for some sectors such as aerospace, the limited prospects for international travel in the near future means they may struggle to return to normal trading for some time.”  

Read more news and views from David Sapsted.

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