The looming skills shortage. Are we ready?


Entitled ‘Solving the UK Skills Shortage’, this is a research paper carried out by Robert Walters and totaljobs and it polled 1,355 employers and 3,879 candidates.

Given the huge amount of coverage this has got over the months, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there is most definitely an air of uncertainty around the forecasted skills gap. Almost 50% say that Brexit is only going to make these skills shortages worse, with 65% of employers believing they’ll face a shortage of skilled professionals in 2018.

23% of businesses will even go as far as to say that Britain is not prepared to compete on a global stage due to the skills gap. And the area most employers (53%) feel where they’ll be hit the worse are at the junior and mid-level management level.

But like it or not, there’s no stopping Brexit. So, instead of burying their heads in the sand, what were the surveyed employers and candidates going to do about it? 28% of employers said that they would target professionals from other fields with transferable skills, whilst 49% would use internal training to upskill staff.

As for the candidates, they’re of a similar mindset. 57% of candidates would look for roles in other fields where their skills would be transferable. Beyond that, 48% of candidates believe that employers should partner more effectively with local universities and educate students on potential career paths and 48% believe that they should offer work placements.

All good suggestions. And it’s going to take all of this, and more, to make sure that we’re all Brexit-ready. Employers, educational and professional bodies and candidates will all need to pull together to make sure we swim, and don’t sink.

David Clift, HR Director, totaljobs said “As we head closer towards Brexit employers will have to think differently about how they attract and retain the best talent from across the globe. For current staff, training will be key to closing any skills gaps, and giving employees the confidence that the businesses they work for can help them fulfil their career ambitions.

“When it comes to attracting staff, employers will have to look to different industries to find the transferable skills that are essential to grow. This means that there will be more opportunities for skilled candidates to use their knowledge and experience in different sectors, providing them with new challenges and opportunities in industries that they may not have considered before.”

Chris Hickey, Robert Walters CEO – UK, Middle East and Africa, said “While the ultimate impact Brexit may have is not yet clear, it is possible that employers will have to revise recruitment strategies to compensate for the lack of easy and simple access to professionals in Europe.

“Developing innovative strategies to address skills shortages will be critical for employers in order to help their businesses remain competitive in a crowded global marketplace.”

Thursday, 8 February 2018

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The looming skills shortage. Are we ready?
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