More than two-thirds of firms in the UK are experiencing skills shortages, according to research published by Reed.
The service sector is the hardest hit with 76 per cent of employers claiming recruitment difficulties.
Other sectors are also suffering, with 68 and 64 per cent of firms in the manufacturing and distribution/wholesale sectors respectively reporting shortages.
The Thames Valley is the worst hit region in the UK, with 82 per cent of organisations finding it hard to recruit suitably qualified staff.
Technical and engineering skills were most in demand, with 20 per cent of employers experiencing recruitment problems.
Following closely behind, 19 per cent and 16 per cent of employers of IT and accountancy staff reported difficulties filling vacancies.
More than 550 organisations in the UK were surveyed for the Reeds Skills Index.
By Karen Higginbottom