Some OSH skills were in such demand during Covid that some candidates were being offered a £30,000 salary increase to stay in position, a leading recruiter has said.
Here’s an exclusive inside view of the current health and safety jobs market from
There is a severe shortage of OSH professionals versus current demand, with the number of health and safety opportunities increasing by 58% in the first half of 2022 but applications decreasing by almost 75%, according to Gerry Pearson is director at Shirley Parsons Project Services. This applies across all sectors and most regions globally, continuing even into the beginnings of an economic slowdown.
'With unemployment at all-time lows in developed countries the shortage was increasing even before Covid-19,' said Gerry. 'While the pandemic was certainly not the cause of the recruitment issues in health and safety, it certainly exacerbated things in terms of the pause it created in new skills being developed to cope with the increased demand for OSH skills to manage the challenges of Covid.
'Skilled health and safety professionals were in massive demand which drove up salaries by 10-15% (that’s before the current inflation crisis), with some skills being in such demand that some candidates were being offered a £30,000 salary increase to stay in position. Brexit has also been a contributing factor in the UK and Europe with work eligibility barriers reducing the talent pool available to UK employers and encumbering UK freelance HSE professionals in supporting major EU-based construction projects.
'Organisations should look to train from within, accept non-sector-based OSH professionals with transferrable skills and be open to outsourced solutions to help address the challenges caused by the skills shortage. Also, a renewed focus on staff retention and/or being prepared to offer top rates and flexible working conditions will be key for firms seeking to attract and engage the best OSH talent.'
Gerry Pearson is director at Shirley Parsons Project Services