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Growing Skills Gap Is the Biggest Threat to Business



Some research conducted on skill gaps has a warning for British business leaders about the state of UK skills. The shortage of skills has become the biggest threat to UK competitiveness, considering that the skill gap is by 64%, according to CBI (Confederation of British Industry).

Workplace skill gap

Employers are experiencing skill-shortage either at the time of recruitment or internally in their existing workforce. Internal skill deficiency usually occurs when employees aren’t proficient in fulfilling their roles. If the skill gap becomes persistent, it will negatively impact the employer’s potential for productivity and profitability.

What is the density of skills shortage vacancies in 2017?

The data provided below has been derived from the survey results of the Employer Skill Survey (ESS) 2017, which compared skill-shortage vacancy from 2015 to 2017.

• Construction; from 35% to 36%.

• Primary sector and utilities; from 26 to 33%

• Transport and storage; from 37 to 29% (improvement)

• Manufacturing; from 30% to 29% (slight improvement)

• Information and Comms; from 26% to 25% ( improvement)

• Arts and other services; from 21 to 25%.

• Business service; from 26% to 24%.

• Health and social work; from 21% to 22%.

• Education; from 16% to 22%.

• Wholesale and retail; from 20% to 18%.

• Financial services; from 21% to 18%.

• Hotels and restaurants; from 19% to 17%.

• Public administration; from 9% to 14%.

From the above sectorial pattern, skill-shortage vacancy increased in; primary sector and utilities, Arts and other services, education, and public administration.

What are the causes of the skill gap in the UK?

From the ESS 2017, the following were cited as a possible cause;

• A low number of applicants.

• Lack of enough candidates interested in the type of job.

• Poor terms and conditions issued by employers.

• A small number of applicants with the desired attitude, personality, and motivation.

• Competition from other employers.

• Job description with unsociable/ shift working hours.

There is a fundamental need for engagement between different sectors and organisations to address skill shortages. There is also the need for expertise in career advice and talent development professionals, as they will know performance improvement strategies that could bridge the skills gap.

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