Complacent employers are ignoring the training and skills needs of their staff and could pose a long-term threat to the UK's economy, according to a major new study.
Three in five employers admit that problems are looming as the workforce ages while the level of training remains static, according to the report, commissioned by Skills for Business, which represents the employer-led Sector Skills Councils.
The study of 13,000 UK employers also revealed that:
Two out of three employers admit that they have problems recruiting new employees with the skills they need
Yet three in five employers do not provide yearly training plans for their employees
Half of employers believed that the skills required by UK workers have remained unchanged, despite rapid technological advances and the increasing threat of international competition.
Mike Campbell, director of research at Skills for Business, said that the rising age profile of our skilled workforce ,combined with many employers failing to train enough of their staff, meant the UK was sitting on a skills time-bomb.
“Our productivity levels are already 8% lower than the EU average, amounting to some £80bn of lost output to our economy,” he said. “If this situation continues, there is a very real risk that it could have serious economic implications for the future prosperity of the UK."