Mid-size firms will struggle for growth amid skills shortage

Staff costs and skills shortages will be the biggest barriers to growth for London’s middle market in 2005, research reveals.

A survey conducted by financial service providers KPMG and the London Chamber of Commerce found that 67 per cent of companies with 100-500 employees felt they would be held back by staff costs and skill shortages.

Ian Hopkinson, head of Employment Tax at KPMG, said employers tend to look at recruitment and retention as a cost without reference to what they are getting for it.

“Clearly they do need to value staff, especially where their workforce is a skilled one. In showing that they do value staff a little flexibility can go a long way,” he said.

“Cash is clearly important but looking at current trends it is equally as important to think about what other benefits are being provided and how flexible an employer is around this.”

The survey also showed that 63 per cent of respondents said that they did not have a business continuity plan in place in the event of a major incident or terrorist attack in London.

In the face of growing concern in London about the risk of a terrorist attack, City banks recently set up a Security Operations and Education Academy to prepare evacuation policies, plan how to deal with bomb attacks and counter chemical, biological and radioactive threats.


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