A shortage of job candidates saw the average salary for a new roles in travel hit a record high last month, according to new research.

The level went up almost 3% from March to April to reach £28,382 – a 5.31% increase over the same month last year.

The figure topped the previous high set last June and is only the second time that average salaries have broken through the £28,000 barrier. This also means that wages have increased by 4.9% across the past 12 months.

But this came as candidate numbers dropped 38% year-on-year.

The drop shows that the shortage of quality applicants is continuing to affect the market.

Vacancies also fell by 23% compared to the same month last year to result in the weakest April since 2014, the latest travel salary study by C&M Travel Recruitment and C&M Executive Recruitment shows.

Director Barbara Kolosinska said: “It really was a month of two halves. In terms of salaries, everything was very positive with wages for new travel jobs reaching a record high while we also had a massive 8% jump in pay in the south.

“However, at the same time we continued to see a candidate shortage with many of the best travel professionals choosing to remain in their current roles rather than seek out any new opportunities.

“This has clearly resulted in a huge demand for quality candidates and, as our salary results show, companies are increasingly willing to improve their wages and benefits packages in an effort to attract the best applicants.”

The overall rise in pay came despite a 1.55% monthly fall in salaries in the north of the UK to £23,656.

However, a 7.95% jump in the south saw salaries reach £28,777 – their highest level since June 2018 and 4.06% higher than last April.

Pay for standard travel jobs of to £40,000 a year rose by 3.77% in April to reach the highest point so fa this year.

The £25,752 total was also up by 6.63% from the same month last year and rose 7.17% on the rolling 12-month average.

MoreStandard travel pay rose 7.45% in 2018