The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) found that while demand for permanent staff continues to grow and is the strongest in almost two years, its research among 400 recruitment agencies recorded that the number of candidates has plummeted. The sectors with online university teaching positions the strongest demand for permanent staff in May included the NHS and engineering, while the slowest increase in demand was for construction workers. Demand for temporary staff was also highest in the nursing, medical and care sectors. Tom Hadley, REC's director of policy, said the challenges facing the next government are stark, adding: "Official data shows unemployment has dropped to the lowest level since 1975, and EU citizens are leaving the UK in droves. "Employers seeking to fill vacancies are running out of options. Skill shortages are causing headaches in many sectors. "The NHS, for example, is becoming increasingly reliant on short-term cover to fill gaps in hospital rotas because there aren't enough nurses to take permanent roles. Video: Brexit making it harder to fill jobs: report "Meanwhile, the shortage of people with cybersecurity skills is a particular concern in many businesses. "Whichever party forms the next government must focus on improving the employability of our young people and boosting inclusion for under-represented groups. "Alongside this, these figures clearly show that in many sectors we need more, not fewer, people so that businesses can grow and public services continue to deliver." Last month, official figures from the Office of National Statistics showed net migration fell below a quarter of a million in 2016 for the first time in almost three years.
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