Concerns that skills shortage could stem economic recovery

A number of businesses in the UK are concerned that they will not be able to find skilled individuals to fill their available roles, according to a new survey.


The research from PwC revealed that while firms are planning to hire in the coming 12 months, some 64% are concerned that they won’t be able to find the right people with the necessary skills.


More than 1,300 chief executives in 68 countries across the world were questioned, and a quarter of UK business leaders plan to increase staff levels by up to 5%.


A further 20% are planning an 8% increase in staffing levels, while one in five is planning increases of beyond that level.


While this paints a positive picture for the UK jobs market, the PwC research also suggested that concerns about key skills existed at a greater level than in anywhere else in Western Europe.


These concerns were rated as the highest business threat to growth plans as having capable staff is essential to driving business success.


The importance of finding the right people


Not having the right staff in place could ultimately stall sales and prevent growth, while also generating losses in the long-term if left unchecked.


Given the current economic climate, and the fact that it is still in the recovery stages form a recession, ensuring a good cash flow is therefore vital to business survival.


A business turnaround or alternative form of insolvency procedure could rescue companies that are struggling and who are unable to recruit the high-profile staff they require to succeed.


A greater onus on training and development could also be essential to ensuring that staff are capable of doing what is required of them.


This requires a certain level of investment but it should lead to benefits in the long-term, while those leading businesses can use the latest insight to ensure they remain one step ahead of the competition.


By Phil Smith


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