New Office for National Statistics (ONS) statistics released this morning show the number of UK workers on payrolls rose by 182,000 between June and July, but UK universities and business warn that the battle is not yet won.

Rosalind Lowe, Head of Policy and Engagement at NCUB said: “Whilst it is positive that the numbers of UK workers on payrolls has risen, now is no time for complacency. There are still estimated to be up to 1.2 million workers on the furlough scheme. With the furlough scheme nearing its end, we will undoubtedly see hundreds of thousands more young people out of the labour market. We know that many UK businesses are still recovering from the pandemic – the battle in Covid-related unemployment is far from won. The UK’s leading universities and businesses are therefore urging caution.”

Lowe continued: “Alongside this, there are a disproportionately large number of vacancies. The number of vacancies hit 953,000 in the three months to July which was a record high. There are therefore serious concerns that we are witnessing a skills mismatch. We are calling on all businesses to continue to collaborate with UK universities. Collaboration between universities and businesses will be critical to aid long-term recovery, and it may well be the lifeline that businesses need.”