Senior consultant at recruitment firm Macildowie Jamie Draper looks at the county’s economic prospects in 2015.
As we enter 2015, the jobs market within Northamptonshire has never been stronger.
Having worked in the recruitment sector for more than 16 years, I can safely say that 2015 looks to be the most promising for Northamptonshire since I entered the industry.
The recession blues are beginning to be banished and the region is set to thrive once again.
During the recession, Northamptonshire managed to create its own microclimate as many business bosses remained cautious with their plans and approach.
This cautiousness paid dividends, as having successfully dealt with the economic downturn, the county is now regaining its rightful location as an exciting place to work.
The recession also had a nationwide impact on apprenticeships and training schemes across the board.
Business bosses understandably became fearful and it was these areas that were first to be cut.
It’s a positive step that we are now starting to see an increase in the number of businesses taking on apprentices.
This is especially apparent in the manufacturing industry, with businesses across Wellingborough and Daventry some of the first to implement recruitment drives in 2015.
In November and December, Macildowie’s team of Accountancy, HR, Procurement & Supply Chain and Sales & Marketing recruiters visited businesses across the county reporting that over 50% of those have plans in place to recruit new staff during the next year.
It’s also great to see growth across the board from graduate and clerical level, up to senior professional level.
Perhaps most interestingly, we’re now beginning to see a real war on talent as businesses are having to fight for the best possible candidates.
For the first time in many years, it’s the ‘good’ candidates that now have choices.
With confidence in the economy growing, the number of people feeling that their situation is good enough to warrant retirement is also growing.
Many stayed loyal to employers during the tough economic climate, but are now feeling the time is right to leave.
The knock-on effect of this is that a number of positions will now begin to open up for emerging talent.
Further to this, I recently met Corby and East Northamptonshire MP Andy Sawford.
We discussed the increasing confidence and growth visible in many of Northamptonshire’s vibrant and growing, small and medium-sized enterprises.
These businesses are the backbone to Northamptonshire’s business future and it’s their development which will ultimately shape 2015 in the town.
We also discussed Corby’s desire to become Britain’s first ‘living wage’ zone – something that sits high up on the local and national agenda over the next few years.
The catalyst for all this growth is simple; confidence has returned and with that has come excitement for the year ahead. 2015 looks to be an excellent time for the region, for both businesses and talent alike.