Filipino workers told to nab job postings in ‘recovering’ UK labour market

By Jeremaiah Opiniano

MANILA–Philippine diplomatic officials in the United Kingdom reported job opportunities in that country’s financial sector, coming at a time when jobless rates in the UK eased recently beside the pandemic.

Jobs in the financial sector such as accountants, comptrollers and auditors are up for grabs currently, says Labour Attache to the United Kingdom Amuerfina Reyes.

These jobs are on top of the usual demand for health care workers in the National Health System (NHS), and some seasonal jobs in the agricultural sector, Reyes adds.

Reyes’s statement did not mention estimated numbers of job vacancies for the financial, agricultural and health sectors. But a July labor market bulletin by the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that the number of job vacancies reached 9.9 percent (or some 77,500 vacancies) during the second quarter this year.

This number of vacancies is above pre-pandemic levels, covering the period January to March 2020, the ONS added, and is seen across industries and employment sectors in the UK.

ONS estimates some 862,000 job vacancies from April to June this year, some 241,200 (or 38.8%) higher from the previous quarter.

Largest increases in job vacancies were seen in the “human health and social work” sector (18,400, or 13.6%) and in the “accommodation and food service” sector (17,800, or 21.1%). The food sector also has the highest vacancies ratio per 100 employees, with 4.5.

ONS’s labor market report came July 15, three days after Reyes’ statement on opportunities for Filipino workers wanting to try out the British labor market beside the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) reported that some 3,904 temporary migrant workers were deployed in 2020. The figure is some 52.5 percent down from 2019 deployment figures for the UK (total: 8,225).

About 2,498 workers deployed to the UK are newly hired while the remaining 1,406 were re-hired to work in the UK, POEA deployment add.

The drop of deployed Filipino workers to the UK reflected the national trend wherein the Philippines deployed only 549,841 land- and sea-based overseas workers in 2020. That total is a staggering 74.5 percent below the 2019 deployment total of 2,156,742