Nearly two-thirds of British firms are experiencing skills shortages, according to a report.
The Reed Skills Index claims that this is the third consecutive year-on-year increase.
The survey, of 1,500 organisations, claims that 60 per cent of companies are finding it difficult to recruit qualified and experienced staff.
The voluntary sector is the worse hit with 67 per cent of companies experiencing a skills shortage, up from 44 per cent the previous quarter.
The service sector follows closely behind with two-thirds struggling to recruit skilled staff.
“There has been a slight decline in the level of skills shortage since the last quarter as organisations are finding it easier to recruit suitably skilled staff, as you would expect at this time of the year,” said James Reed, chief executive of Reed.
“The year-on-year rising trend indicates a steadily increase problem for businesses which should not be ignored.”