The economic downturn is challenging skills shortages as the biggest problem facing European businesses, according to research.
The survey by venture capital company 3i shows that lack of demand for goods and services increased from 10 per cent last year to 18 per cent this year.
Skills shortages were cited by 23 per cent of European companies as their biggest problem, down from 28 per cent last year.
Competition has eased between businesses with only 21 per cent of businesses citing this a problem compared to nearly 50 per cent last year. It was more of an issue in France, Spain and Italy, but lack of demand dominated the concerns of UK employers.
Liz Hewitt, director of corporate affairs at 3i, said, “Skilled people are increasingly difficult to source and are always in demand.
“The survey shows that these employees are even more important when demand for the company’s products are reduced.”
The report polled 1,000 companies in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.