Skills gap widens as job market recovers

The skills gap is widening as the job market recovers, according to the latest Recruitment Confidence Index (RCI) survey.

The RCI tracks recruitment intentions among UK businesses and is measured as an index where values over 100 imply an increase in recruitment activity. The spring index has risen to 135 from 129 in the last quarter and nearly half of employers – 48% – expect recruitment activity to go up in the next six months.

However, increases in recruitment activity are set to put pressure on skills with the survey showing an especially tough climate for the sales and IT sectors.

One in two employers (50%) are expecting trouble filling sales vacancies, up from 40% three months ago. And 45% of organisations predict they will find it harder to attract good IT people, up from 34% three months ago.

Shaun Tyson, professor of HR at Cranfield School of Management, said employers should take some of the blame for the problems they will face hiring talent this summer.

He said: “We will always have problems with high-level skills in the UK because many organisations don’t invest enough in training and developing their people. The trend over the past years has been to limit training to the very specific skills that the organisation needs now rather than training people for the future.”

Other findings in the survey show:



  • A significant drop in the number of firms expecting problems recruiting board directors – down from 49% three months ago to 30% now
  • No change in business optimism, with 59% of organisations remaining neutral about the future
  • All regions expect employment levels to increase this quarter.

The RCI quarterly trends survey is published by Cranfield School of Management and the Daily Telegraph, in association with Personnel Today. The spring 2005 survey draws on responses from 1,115 public and private sector employers.

www.rcisurvey.co.uk

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