The employment agency is experiencing the busiest period in its history

Businesses in Tunbridge Wells are posting a record number of vacancies, a local recruitment agency has said, following the easing of Covid restrictions.

TN Recruits, which finds jobs for job seekers in and around Tunbridge Wells, says it is experiencing its busiest time in the company’s 17-year history.

Last week the Time reports the largest drop in the unemployment rate in the borough since the start of the pandemic.

Currently 2,590 people are unemployed in Tunbridge Wells, according to June figures provided by the ONS [Office for National Statistics].

This is 230 fewer people applying for unemployment benefits than the previous month [2,890] – the biggest drop since unemployment soared last year when the pandemic hit.

The crisis has seen the number of unemployed fall from around 1,000 before the crisis began to a peak of 3,315 in May last year.

Successive easing of restrictions in recent months has seen the number of job vacancies in the region skyrocket.

HEADHUNTER: Neil Simmons

Neil Simmons, who runs the Tunbridge Wells employment agency TN Recruits, said employment figures in and around Tunbridge Wells reflect what is happening across the country.

He said, “From our perspective, June was TN Recruits’ most successful month in our history (since 2014), and it looks like July will surpass June. We pinch ourselves because at this time last year we had our worst month on record.

However, he warned local businesses they may need to raise wages to stay competitive, as ONS figures also revealed wages in Tunbridge Wells are below the national average.

Mr Simmons said: ‘Wages in Tunbridge Wells have been in need of a shake-up for a long time and the pandemic is going to cause that in my view.

“The draw of work opportunities in London has always been the inflated salaries as well as the ability to work for big organisations.

“The downside of working in London has always been the commute and the lack of work/life balance.

“With more and more businesses offering hybrid, half-home, half-office working solutions, I think local businesses will need to compete with London wages in order to attract top talent.

“That said, it’s not just about salary at the moment – the value-added candidates we meet tend to be looking for things like training and development opportunities to advance their careers, and for parents who work, a level of flexibility is required.

“There are a number of amazing businesses in and around Tunbridge Wells, and more are recognizing what they need to do to make the package attractive with both pay and benefits.”