Warning of 'mass exodus' in accountancy and finance

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By Andrew Harbison, CA Today

21 June 2016

The UK financial services sector could see a dramatic skills shortage in middle management positions within the next six months, according to a new report.

A survey by recruitment group Hays, found that over half (51%) of millennials working in finance plan to have left their job within the next 12 months, and a third (30%) see themselves leaving within the next six months.

Millennials are defined as individuals born between 1983 and 1995. 

Feeling uncertain or negative about their career prospects, a perceived lack of future opportunities and a belief that there is no scope for progression within their current organisation were some of the main reasons given by the group for leaving.

According to the report, the feelings of discontent among millennials in finance are a result of businesses becoming too ‘focused on how to attract junior millennials’, with the suggestion that business leaders should ‘instead examine how to retain those already within their organisation’.

“Businesses and finance functions can’t treat all 21 to 33 years olds in the same way” said Karen Young, Director at Hays Senior Finance.

“New entrants to the finance profession or new graduates are at a very different stage in their career than those in their early thirties, with a number of years of experience and professional qualifications under their belts and businesses must put equal focus on them or they risk losing a generation of managers.

“Businesses should focus on taking a more considered approach to incentivising and retaining their newest management generation while also appealing to junior employees. With acute skill shortages in early and middle management roles, there is certainly no time for businesses to lose.”

The findings also point towards the year-on-year rise of start-ups launching across the UK as being a possible talent drain on bigger businesses.

The report states that ‘for an age group who strongly value flexible working and clear career progression the entrepreneurial path could prove extremely tempting’.

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