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Persistent skills mismatches, imbalances in the UK labour market

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Government figures released today point to continued imbalances in the UK labour market, contributing to persistent skills shortages. 

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) report on skills mismatches analyses the extent to which UK workers are over or under qualified compared to the average for their jobs.  In 2015, the number of individuals who were under qualified for their job was at its highest level since 2012, meaning that employers are often being forced to hire employees without the skills they need.

Farida Gibbs, founder and CEO of hybrid workforce solutions firm Gibbs S3, comments: “In any well-functioning labour market there will always be some disparity between the skills available and jobs on offer. Yet the UK economy is experiencing something more serious than this. Prolonged skills shortages are causing serious problems for businesses looking for staff in certain sectors, particularly in IT: in fact, the number of positions left vacant because employers are unable to find workers with the skills or knowledge to fill them has risen by a staggering 130 per cent since 2011.

“Companies who are tied to traditional workforce structures are often unable to implement business critical projects due to a lack of technical knowledge and staff. In this increasingly divergent market, decision makers must look to other solutions for their staffing problems. Moving towards a more project-based arrangement, businesses can rapidly scale their technical workforces at short notice. This flexible approach will help companies to respond to the challenges of a labour force in which there are persistent mismatches between skillsets and job requirements.

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