Skills shortages hit 12-year high

The UK skills shortage is at a 12-year peak, according to the Business in Britain survey from Lloyds TSB Corporate.

More than half (52 per cent) of British companies have experienced sustained difficulty in recruiting skilled staff in the past 12 months – the highest level over the 13-year life of the survey. In addition, more than a quarter of firms (28 per cent) reported problems finding unskilled staff.

Regionally, the East Midlands faces the biggest challenge, with 62% of companies in the area experiencing a shortage of skilled candidates for jobs.

Peter Navin, banking director at Lloyds TSB Corporate, said the UK remained an attractive and profitable place to do business, but needed to ensure that it had a workforce that can compete globally, in terms of its level of expertise.

“Traditional employment pulls such as wages and benefits packages help maintain a competitive edge,” he said. “By continuing to invest in management, training and resources, we can wage the war for talent with confidence.”

The government launched its new strategy to address the skills shortage on Tuesday.

The Skills White Paper includes a new National Employer Training Programme (NETP) to provide free training in the workplace up to the equivalent of 5 GCSEs.

It also announced the creation of ‘Skills Academies’ to provide industry-specific training as well as four ‘Sector Skills Agreements’ to identify the skills and productivity needs of business and how to address them.

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