Nearly 60 per cent of firms suffer skills shortages

Almost
three out of five firms across the UK and Ireland are now suffering from skills
shortages, research published today has revealed.

The Reed
Skills Index survey found that 58 percent of the organizations questioned were
finding it difficult to recruit suitably experienced and qualified staff, a drop
of two points since the first quarter of 2001 but an increase of one per cent on
the start of last year.

Companies
in Scotland were the hardest hit, with 70 percent finding it difficult to find
staff with the necessary skills, a rise of two points on the last quarter.

The North
East has also been badly affected, with two-thirds of firms recording
recruitment problems compared to just 54 percent in March.

Staff
shortages in the finance, public and voluntary sectors have continued to grow,
although the problem has eased in the IT sector, where only 10 percent of
companies reporting difficulties.

James
Reed, the chief executive of Reed, commented, “Over the last twelve months
high-levels of skills shortages across the UK have had a negative impact on
productivity as many companies found it difficult to find the right people to
resource the plans for growth.

“The
slight decrease in skills shortages experienced over the last few months
indicates an easing of these tight labour markets. But we should not lose sight
of the fact that well over half the organisations we surveyed are still
experiencing skills shortages.”

The Reed
Skills Index has tracked demand for staff in the UK economy since May 1997.
Reports from 1000 organizations were included in the survey.

By Robert
De La Poer

 

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