A North Wales-based online job advertising specialist has urged employers to widen their available talent pools using remote working as Welsh Government looks to grow those not in the office to 30 per cent.
Cath Harrison, managing director at St Asaph-based JVP Group, was a panellist at the Getting Back to Growth forum and was joined by Alwen Williams of the North Wales Economic Ambition Board, Michael Learmond of the Federation of Small Businesses and Joanna Swash of Moneypenny.
The event, hosted by Insider Media, was held to discuss the ways North Wales is facing up to the challenge of recovering from the pandemic, with tourism, the increase in home working, and future transport problems all discussed.
Cath said: “We are seeing more job adverts for employers where there is the option of permanent home working, and I think that provides a real opportunity for businesses to open up their talent pool.
“If you’ve got a business based in Holyhead, and they’re looking to recruit for a highly-skilled niche role, and perhaps there’s an individual who’s based in Wrexham for example, that’s an hour and a half commute each way.”
The Welsh Government is aiming to have 30 per cent of the Welsh workforce being based at home (or close to home) to reduce congestion and pollution as well as improve work-life balance.
Cath also spoke about how employers could get the right people in the right roles by either retraining staff with good core skills and a positive attitude or training up younger people.
In addition, with the UK Government pledging to help create 2 million green energy jobs, and North Wales already home to several big renewables projects, the region could be in prime position to capitalise if those who have lost jobs in the pandemic in aviation or automotive industries can retrain.
She added: “We need to be more open minded rather than looking for unicorns.
“We’ve got access to some fantastic talent here in the region, if we’re able to be more open-minded we can help these highly skilled people get back into employment by offering opportunities to retrain.”
Despite the pandemic, JVP Group itself has had more new employer clients in 2020 than in 2019.
The company has also seen a rise in vacancies being advertised in recent weeks, with a significant number set to go live in the new year.
Cath said: “It’s been a tough nine months for businesses across the region, but we are seeing things going in the right direction.
“There are a lot of marketing vacancies coming through, as well as for financial roles, and these are key areas that are going to help companies drive forward.
“We are in regular contact with businesses across North Wales as well as the wider UK meaning we have an appreciation for what challenges and opportunities exist for brands.
“At the moment, we’re seeing an increase in interest in our Jobs in North Wales platform which is fantastic, to actually have more opportunities being showcased locally.”