£5bn investment fails to plug England’s skills gap

The economy in England is still blighted by major skills shortages despite
employers having invested more than £5bn on staff training.

A survey of 72,000 employers found that, despite the investment, only half
of all employees were benefiting from training, with a fifth of all firms
reporting skills gaps in their workforce.

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) poll, which is the largest of its
kind, suggests that 2.4m workers in England are without the required skills to
carry out their jobs.

The lack of proficient staff is also costing employers money, with 30 per
cent citing higher operating costs because of the skills gaps.

The LSC believes that employers are starting to respond to the challenge,
but a third of those questioned had no training plan or budget to tackle the
gaps.

The lack of skills is not just an internal matter for business and the
survey reveals that more than 135,000 vacancies (one in five) remain unfilled
because of a lack of skills.

Mark Haysom, the LSC’s chief executive said he hoped that by listening to
business he would be able to deliver tailor made solutions for employers.

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