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Struggle to find skilled people continues

David Willett

In the wake of the REC JobsOutlook Survey a summary from The Open University. Contributor David Willett, Corporate Director – The Open University.

Regardless of their hiring expectations, seven in 10 business leaders think they will struggle to find talent with the skills they need next year, with the skills shortage remaining a prominent issue.

In the ideal scenario, candidates would come with the experience and qualifications required, but a higher skills gap means employers may need to invest in training to ensure that their organisation is protected against economic, technological and political changes in the future.

“With Brexit and growing opportunities stemming from automation and digitisation, it is essential that leaders focus on future-proofing their organisations efficiently – which means building skills from within, rather than paying over the odds for workers who are in demand. The introduction of the apprenticeship levy and new degree apprenticeships offers high quality, accessible opportunities to increase skills, giving organisations who embrace them the capability and flexibility to succeed.”

Research commissioned research in The Open University’s Business Barometer found: Seven in 10 (69 percent) businesses believe they will struggle to hire people with the right skills in the next 12 months; The skills gap is costing UK businesses more than £2 billion a year in higher salaries, recruitment costs and temporary staffing; 90 percent of employers have struggled to recruit workers with the right skills in the last 12 months; The recruitment process is taking longer than expected for three quarters (75 percent) of employers, which means many will have incurred additional costs in recruitment fees and hiring temporary staff, estimated to be at least £1.7 billion.

More than half (56 percent) of businesses had to increase the salary on offer for a role well above the market rate to get the skills they required in the last 12 months; 47 per cent of employers are struggling to find candidates with the required IT skills, and 43 per cent are struggling to attract talent with the right management skills.

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