I may be a bit late to join the trend of looking ahead to this year but I wanted to take the time to assess what the mood was amongst my candidates and clients to compliment the views from the press. Naturally in the press there are conflicting views that range from we are all doomed to unchecked optimism, which left me none the wiser about how this year will unfold from the “expert” point of view. However I have found that speaking to those who are seeking jobs and those who are recruiting has given me a much clearer picture of the mood in the market. Of course there will be uncertainty this is to be expected because no one is certain of what will happen over the next few years as we negotiate our exit for the EU and the repercussions once we have left. However, despite this and other issues, I am pleased to say that the mood is positive.
There seems to have been virtually no change in the amount of successful Horizon 2020 funding won, as far as I am aware, and something that seems set to continue whatever the outcome of Brexit. Added to this is the increasing funding being made available by Innovate UK over the next few years and additional ways to secure funds to be announced. The mood amongst investors is also generally positive where they are looking to invest and support those who have a brilliant concept. Which of course is a relief for a market where funding always seems to be such an issue.
Another reason to be positive is the sense of optimism surrounding a number of companies who all have expansion plans for 2017. These are driven by a number of factors but there is a common trend which is they are all looking to recruit heavily this year. Some of this is due to funding already secured, or because of forecasts based on projects won or in the pipeline, or attempting to break into new markets, or even develop a technology further. There are many companies who are developing such exciting technologies that are progressing further and further towards commercialisation. Which naturally will need talented people to achieve this and the creation of more jobs. To add to this sense of optimism is the mood of those seeking jobs which is very optimistic. There are many highly skilled people searching for new opportunities, some having recently completed their education, in particular at PhD level, all with clear ideas about what they are looking for. As well as those who have gained valuable experience using the latest techniques and worked in an innovative environment to deliver results, something that is of real use in a challenging environment. Not to mention those leading the various sectors of their disciplines who are generating new ideas, developing them further and helping the next generation of leaders reach their potential.
All of which has made me feel very positive about 2017 as I continue to look forward and make the most of the current situation. There will always be the challenges such as those faced around skills shortage and lack of funding but these issues were occurring prior to Brexit, Trump and 2017. There will always be challenges faced, the world is ever changing and we need to adapt to change. As once said for everything to stay the same everything needs to change. I am probably completely misusing this quote but for me it sums up the situation. Change is happening, so let’s adapt and make the most of the situation, opportunities will arise from whatever the year holds for us and upon reflection I am feeling very positive. There is so much potential to be realised over the next 12 months and I am intrigued about how the year will unfold.