Skills shortage ‘costs UK industry £2 billion a year’
3 Jul 2017
Britain’s burgeoning skills shortage is already costing the country £2 billion in recruitment costs and temporary staffing, says new research by The Open University.
The OU surveyed a total of 400 firms across different sectors on their experience over the last year. Results suggested that nine out of 10 companies had struggled to recruit staff with the necessary skills.
More than half those surveyed admitted they had been forced to pay substantially above the market rate for staff, a situation responsible for an additional £527 million in costs. For small to medium-sized enterprises, this is equivalent to more than £4,000 per hire.
The current problem is attributable in part to unemployment being at its lowest in the UK for 40 years. However, the university reported that uncertainty regarding Brexit meant that people were more disinclined to leave their jobs and risk greater insecurity.
OU external engagement director Steve Hill commented: “The UK challenge of finding talent with the right skills means that businesses need to look at recruitment, development and retention differently.
“Now faced with a shrinking talent pool, exacerbated by the uncertainties of Brexit, it is more important that employers invest in developing their workforce.”
Earlier this year, Engineering UK warned that the shortfall in engineering recruits amounted to 20,000 graduate recruits annually.