The number of skills shortage vacancies has fallen dramatically in the past two years, new research shows.
The UK Commission for Employment and Skills’ (UKCES) annual survey of 80,000 employers found that the number of skills shortage vacancies was 63,000 – equivalent to three per 1,000 workers – just under half the number reported in 2007.
This reflects both reduced recruitment activity and the fact that the proportion of vacancies where skills shortages are making them hard to fill is at its lowest level (16% in 2009) since the UKCES began reporting in 2003, the study said.
Other findings revealed that the pattern of training practice is changing. Fewer employers are electing to deliver all of their training on the job and more are combining it with off-the-job training.
Those delivering just on-the-job training fell from 21% in 2007 to 17% in 2009, while the proportion of employers providing both off- and on-the-job training increased from 33% in 2005 and 2007 to 38% in 2009.
The findings also showed that while fewer staff received training in 2009 compared to 2007, more is being spent on each person trained.
The average annual investment per trainee is £3,050, compared with £2,775 in 2007 – an average of 3% more on training in real terms (allowing for inflation) than was the case in 2007.