Workers in England 'increasingly confident' about jobs as economy shows signs of recovery

Confidence is slowly returning to the jobs market in England, although a significant number of people need support, new research suggests.

A survey by the National Careers Service (NCS) found that optimism has improved or stayed the same for three out of four individuals over the past few months, with those in London and the south-east most confident about jobs.

One in four, however, is less optimistic on the employment front, despite signs of an economic recovery.

"While job confidence is heading in the right direction, there is still a way to go in ensuring people are ready to find the right job - or the next stage in their career," commented Joe Billington, director of the NCS.

"The results reflect what we see on the ground and hear in our call centres, that while people are slowly becoming more confident, we see significant numbers of people who need support and encouragement to take the right steps to a new job."

The report claims a feeling that people have the right work experience or skills has boosted job confidence for the vast majority.

To address the lack of optimism among the minority, Skills Minister Matthew Hancock has called for more focus on training.

"We need to continue to provide as many options for training as possible, so that people have the appropriate skills to find work, which will reward them and respond to business needs," he said.

Nevertheless, he referred to the growing levels of confidence about job prospects as "a sign of the rebalancing economy".

The confidence boost comes as the Bank of England this week set out a new strategy of 'forward guidance', aiming to reassure businesses and give them confidence to expand and take on new staff.

Under the policy, it is unlikely that interest rates will go above their current level of 0.5% before the end of 2016. The strategy ties interest rates to employment levels, meaning the rate should not be raised until some 750,000 new jobs are created.

The new Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, said he was confident that forward guidance would boost the economy.

Copyright Press Association 2013