Doncaster Business Insight – the borough’s leading private sector survey of local business sentiment, closely watched by policymakers including Doncaster Council and the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership – demonstrates the huge impact that Covid-19 has had on the borough’s economy and significant challenges ahead as the economy re-opens and recovers.

Survey results starkly demonstrate the current and future impact of Covid-19 on jobs and young people. Many businesses have decreased their workforce – either via furlough or permanent redundancies and three-quarters of respondents are operating below capacity. Results also indicate a slightly reduced appetite for businesses to take on young people and apprentices.

According to the data:

  • There has been a reduction of over 35% of firms trying to recruit between March and June
  • Survey respondents expect employment levels to decrease by over 30% in the next 3 months
  • 21.6% of firms did not employ any apprentices due to uncertainty surrounding Covid-19
  • 14.8% of firms reported a decrease in appetite to employ apprentices due to Covid-19

Doncaster Chamber Chief Executive Officer Andrew Hibbitt said: “High quality work placements and apprenticeships provide a fantastic vehicle for businesses to develop better skills, a pipeline of young talent, close the skills gap and grow their own workforce. The latest DBI results show that the appetite to take on apprentices remains strong, however it is imperative that businesses are supported to create the demand so to ensure that apprenticeships boost our economic recovery.”

A complete briefing of results from the latest Doncaster Business Insight survey and a panel discussion on recruitment and employment opportunities for young people will take place during Doncaster Chamber’s digital briefing on 30 July.