NORTH-EAST employers are among the most optimistic in the country about creating new jobs, according to a new survey which warned about a shortage of skilled engineers.  

With an Employment Outlook of +11 per cent, reported by recruitment firm Manpower, employment prospects in the North-East are well ahead of the national average of +6 per cent.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is based on responses from 2,112 UK employers. It asks whether employers intend to hire additional workers or reduce the size of their workforce in the coming quarter. It is the most comprehensive survey of its kind and is used by the Bank of England and the Government.

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Overall the jobs market has reached a turning point, with the employers interviewed in all sectors reporting positive hiring plans, even in construction which was one of the sectors hardest hit by the recession but has really bounced back, Manpower said.

The upbeat outlook comes as the North-East continues to suffer one of the country's highest levels of unemployment. 

“Many have tried to write off the North East’s prospects – it was only last summer that the area was famously written off in Parliament as being ‘desolate’, but if you look at its performance in our survey, it’s been a good year for the region," said Amanda White, operations manager at Manpower, who confirmed that the company is expanding its presence in the North-East with the opening of a new regional office in Newcastle. 

She added: “We’re seeing an increase in the number of available roles across the region, including for full-time and permanent positions, with Newcastle and Sunderland standing out as particular areas of activity.

"The region’s position as a manufacturing heartland continues to generate vacancies. But the difference today is that the availability of people with the right skills mix for engineering and senior production roles is in decline – those who up-skill are in huge demand.”