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South East: Recruiter says 'demand has rocketed' since September

By Jo Whittle
11 February 2021

One of the country’s leading recruitment companies is placing on assignment over 1,000 more workers a day than it did when Covid struck. Berry Recruitment, which supplies mainly temporary staff, said that since September demand has rocketed.

The company works from nearly 40 locations across England and Wales, including branches in Oxford, Southampton and Gosport, and says there remains a shortage of candidates in some areas. A change in buying habits has had a major impact on the trend, which shows no sign of slowing.

Lee-GambleLee Gamble, managing director of Berry Recruitment, said: “The first four months after the first lockdown saw a slump in business. Some of our existing clients were vital in helping fight the pandemic and we were able to step up and supply extra workers. Our business remained active and staff quickly changed focus in order to help the national effort. We also identified companies that we thought would prosper in a lockdown and were able to supply them with staff who previously might have worked in other areas.

“By targeting specific sectors and businesses we were able to build up the number of workers we were supplying until it far exceeded numbers before lockdown. We are now sending out 3,000 a day across 500 companies – and there is still a shortage. Areas including food production and packing, supermarkets, construction and driving are particularly busy.

“We saw many Europeans return home before the first lockdown and they haven’t been able to return due to Covid. The slack hasn’t been completely picked up by those who have lost their jobs or who are still furloughed.

“Another trend saw a steep demand for what we called covid chaperones – people able to politely enforce social distancing and other covid regulations.

“Driving jobs have increased in number quite dramatically and there is a shortage there.

“What we are unsure of is what the short-term outlook is – in the long term when lockdown is lifted we are optimistic of a booming economy. But no one knows what will happen between now and then. However, we’re quite bullish and anticipate continued demand for our workers. There is no sign of things slowing.

“Sectors such as catering and hospitality have obviously suffered but when lockdowns are lifted they will bounce back and more staff will be required. I’d encourage anyone who is looking for work, or who might be looking for work in the near future, to register with us as the market is fluid and opportunities arise all the time.”

Berry Recruitment is part of Berry Recruitment Group (BRG), which includes the brands Wild Recruitment and Wild Berry Associates.

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