Skills gap predicted in the wake of Brexit

Posted on: July 27th, 2016


A new study has highlighted that the majority of employers in the UK are concerned about being able to hire enough candidates with high-level skills, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) website reports.

According to new research conducted by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), more than two-thirds (69%) of the 500 UK firms surveyed are worried about the lack of highly skilled workers – a figure up 14% from last year’s survey.

Meanwhile, nearly a third (32%) of respondents to the CBI/Pearson ‘Education and Skills Survey’ expressed their concern about a lack of strong literacy skills among candidates, and a similar number (29%) were anxious about basic numeracy levels.

Although the study was carried out before the result of Britain’s vote to leave the EU was announced, the findings seem even more important now that the UK is going through a period of economic uncertainty.

As Josh Hardie – deputy director-general of the CBI – explains, following the Brexit vote “the UK must carve out a new economic future, and this is an area where we must take action to support our competitiveness and prosperity.”

“Getting the skills and education system right across the country, particularly in partnership with the devolved nations, will be a big challenge,” he added.

The research also confirms that employers are concerned about skills gaps, and that more importance needs to be placed on upskilling employees. More than three-quarters (76%) of organisations currently allocate some of their budget to in-house training and development, with just 42% choosing to train staff externally. A further 68% pointed to their training and mentoring opportunities, while an impressive 73% gave their staff the opportunity to work part-time.

Demand for higher skills is also increasing, as businesses seek to improve their operations and get the most value from their staff. The majority (77%) of businesses expected to have more roles for people with higher level skills in the near future, while a respective 42% and 67% of employers desired intermediate-level, and leadership and management skills.

The findings also suggest that companies are struggling with apprenticeships. Although the number of firms offering these schemes has increased by 5% from last year – to 71% – more than half (57%) wanted more clarity on how the apprenticeship levy system would work. A further 39% said that the levy meant they would probably have to make cuts to other types of staff training in order to meet costs.

If you’re struggling to find the talent needed to help your business succeed during these uncertain times, it pays to seek help from a professional recruitment expert like Lucy Bristow.

Image: Brexit Scrabble by Jeff Djevdet Available under the (CC BY 2.0) license

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