Manufacturing skilled labour shortages set to hamper small firms’ ability to meet demand

The lack of skilled labour in manufacturing will hamper small firms’ ability to meet demand, according to the UK’s largest employers group.

The CBI’s latest quarterly report on small and medium-sized employers (SMEs) confirmed that yet again a shortage of labour is a growing issue . More than 500 employers said labour shortages are likely to limit investment over the coming year.

Steve Sharratt, chairman of the CBI’s SME Council said: “Labour shortage is an increasing constraint to expansion, and a lack of skilled labour is particularly likely to hamper small firms’ ability to meet demand. Unsurprisingly, planned investment in training and retraining has been increased during 2007 to help tackle this.”

SMEs also reported the highest rate of growth in domestic orders since 1997, and continue to enjoy firm demand overall, according to the research.

“Small and medium-sized manufacturers expected this to be a strong quarter, and it has been,” Sharratt added.

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