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The 2.2 Billion Cost of the Skills Gap



A survey of 400 businesses during spring 2017, has revealed the UK has a skills shortage that is costing the economy £2.2 billion. The uncertain future of Brexit has been blamed for deterring UK and foreign workers to take up new roles. In the last year, 90% of companies have faced difficulties in recruiting suitable staff. Paying higher salaries to attract workers has cost a total of £527 million. £1.7 billion is attributed to employing temporary staff, while other costs have come from recruitment agency fees. The recruitment process is taking seven weeks longer than usual as companies find it difficult to fill gaps in their workforce. 21% of businesses are unable to find a senior manager and 47% cannot fill IT vacancies.

Bridging the Gap

53% of companies appointed candidates without the required skills and are now having to invest in training schemes. In fact, many businesses are relying on training schemes to solve the skills shortage. The recent launch of new apprenticeships has been welcomed by 59% of businesses. 62% view apprenticeships and training schemes as positive opportunities that will enhance their businesses.

Balancing the Costs

The crisis of finding employees with the right skills is likely to continue, a fact reflected by 69% of businesses who are pessimistic at their chances of successful recruitment. More than half of those interviewed thought a protracted search for staff had been detrimental. However, expert analysis suggests that businesses should bear some of the responsibility for the crisis through a decline in training during recent years. To redress the balance and obtain the adaptable, talented workforce they so desperately need, businesses can become innovative leaders by helping to provide training in the appropriate skills.

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