Skills gap deepens

A new report shows skills shortages in the UK have become more acute for the fourth consecutive year

UK employers are facing even greater skills shortages and rising wage pressures, according to a new report from Hays plc – since 2012 the talent gap has widened and now the UK scores 9.7 out of 10, among the worst in Europe. Wage pressure in the UK has also increased significantly since last year as the economy returns to health. This reflects the war for talent in certain industries, including engineering and technology, which is forcing companies to pay a higher premium for the best people.
The Hays Global Skills Index 2015 has been published today by Hays in collaboration with Oxford Economics and is based on an analysis of professional employment markets across 31 major global economies. It emphasise the need for UK and global businesses to work closely with respective governments to find long-term solutions to current talent shortages and faltering productivity or risk long term growth.
Commenting on the report, Hays’ Chief Executive Alistair Cox said: “This year’s report offers grounds for optimism but none for complacency. UK growth prospects are better than they have been in a long time but employers are facing ever-greater challenges to find the talent they need. This can only mean that the productivity challenges we face as a nation will become even more severe.”
“We need to resolve the UK’s productivity puzzle and the current skills gap is clearly a big part of the problem. The answer does not lie in working longer hours, but in developing and using the right skills for the job. Better training for UK workers, attracting highly-skilled workers from overseas and investing in better technology are all part of the solution and will be critical in shifting the economy into the next gear.”
The pressure on wages is not unique to the UK, with this indicator worsening in 21 of the 31 countries examined by the report. Labour markets around the world are also struggling to shake off the after-effects of the financial crisis, in particular the ‘employment gap’ – the jobs lost since the start of the crisis.

Debbie Carter

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