The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) today welcomed a call from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) for businesses to invest in their workforce as a driver for economic success.
The BCC Workforce Survey finds that 92% of businesses have identified a skills shortage amongst their workforce in at least one key area.
Lesley Giles, Deputy Director at UKCES said:
“This is further confirmation that skills shortages really are potholes in the road to growth. No jobs or sectors are completely immune to them, and some of the most severe skills shortages are in highly skilled jobs.
“Our Employer Skills Survey – which interviews over 90,000 establishments - shows that almost three in ten vacancies are reported to be hard to fill, and shortages in suitably skilled workers are the main reason for this. Last year, the number of skills shortage vacancies grew by 60%, outpacing the growth in general vacancies.
“Ironically, though, we also found that many employers are under-using the skills of their staff. Half of UK employers (48 per cent) report skills under-use, and 4.3 million workers (16 per cent of the total UK workforce) have skills that aren’t used in their current job
“The solution to both issues is the same. Improving links between employers and providers of education and training can not only make sure that we address skills gaps and shortages; it can also ensure that the training on offer is exactly what’s needed.
“This issue is too important to be left to chance, and we join BCC in calling on employers, employer organisations, policy-makers and others to join forces and make sure we have the skilled workforce we need to compete, grow and prosper.”