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`20,000 jobs are unfilled`

03 September, 2007

There are 20,000 unfilled jobs in the UK consultancy and engineering sector, with a further 2,400 vacancies likely to appear over the coming 12 months, says a new report from the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE).

The report, based on an industry survey, highlights the shortfall of high-calibre graduates joining the profession and predicts that skills shortages will worsen if action is not taken.

The report also criticises what it calls the "unethical" behaviour of recruitment consultants. It condemns the artificial market created by practices such as poaching staff within six months of placing them. Around 80% of those surveyed said that recruitment agencies provide an "average to poor quality" service.

"The review confirms that recruitment and staff retention is a serious issue affecting our sector," says ACE chief executive, Nelson Ogunshakin. He adds that ACE plans to take steps to address the issues, such as introducing a recruitment agency charter.

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