The healthcare jobs market is in line for a welcome boost after it emerged that over a third of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the sector intend to recruit new staff in 2014.
According to research by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, 36% of healthcare SMEs intend to recruit new employees. The research found that on average,healthcare SMEs expect to grow staff numbers by 3.3%. If this figure is applied to the sector SME workforce of 1.2m* this means that almost 40,000 new jobs could be created in sector.
The recruitment intentions highlighted by the research were supported by significant investment plans. Just over a quarter (26%) of healthcare SMEs questioned said they would spend additional money over and above existing budgets on new staff in the coming year.
Some sectors are set to benefit more than others from the anticipated jobs boom, with more than half of construction firms (59%) and manufacturing SMEs (53%) citing plans to create jobs. Recruitment intention was also significant within the food and drink sector with 46% of firms saying they are likely to hire new staff.
The survey suggested that healthcare SMEs also plan substantial investment in staff development with 45% of those who maintain a separate budget for training saying they expect the amount that they set aside to grow.
Overall, the research indicates that the healthcare sectoris growing increasingly optimistic about the UK’s prospects with 73% of healthcareSMEs saying that they expect the economy will grow over the next year. Four in 10 healthcare firms expect their turnover to increase.
Derek Breingan, head of healthcare with Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, said:
“Healthcare SMEs are now planning for growth and their desire to increase recruitment and invest in their staff is a clear sign that confidence is building within healthcare. The creation of new jobs will help boost productivity and competitiveness as well as strengthening the improving economic recovery.
“Healthcare businesses are looking to the future with renewed optimism. Many are investing in staff to cater for the changing needs of our ageing population, or to provide specialist care.
“As confidence continues to grow, we remain focused on supporting healthcareSMEs and investing in their growth ambitions.”