Workplace skills crisis
The Open University Business Barometer 2019 found that UK business is spending £4.4 billion annually to address the skills shortage, with the cash going on recruitment fees, increased salaries, temporary staff and training costs to upskill workers. More than two thirds of employers had difficulty finding appropriately skilled employees. Managerial skills were in particularly short supply, with IT and leadership skills coming second. In around a quarter of cases, positions went unfilled. Many employers felt that their business was not as agile as it needed to be to tackle future challenge successfully, and nearly half anticipated a knock-on effect on business finances.
A key take-away message was that businesses are increasingly growing their own in-house talent. Over 50% had increased the spend on training and development, with long-term sustainability, and increased staff loyalty cited as additional benefits. Work-based training and apprenticeships were particularly attractive to over half the businesses surveyed.