Employers in the South East are in danger of losing their business and staff to European firms unless they improve their competitiveness, a study has found.
The region, which covers London and the Home Counties, has full employment and the best rate of productivity per employee in the UK.
It still lags behind Europe, however, operating at only 65 per cent of the productivity rate of the best-performing region in Germany, the research arm of South East Tecs found.
Steven Miller, chief knowledge officer at the South East England Regional Research Unit and the report's author, said failure to get to grips with technology and to train staff to use it is holding British firms back, while better performing European companies move in and poach scarce talent.
Counties such as Berkshire, Surrey and Hampshire have gone beyond full employment and are experiencing labour shortages across sectors, he said.