Fight Against Skill Shortage Vacancies in Your Business

In 2015, the UK Commission For Employment and Skills (UKCES) conducted the Employer Skills Survey (ESS); the definitive source of intelligence on the skills challenges employers across the UK are facing, and their response in terms of investment in skills and training. The ESS examined the experiences and practices of over 91,200 employers at a time the UK economy was leaving recession and experiencing sustained economic growth.The good news? A rise in recruitment. The bad news? A rise in skills shortages.At the time of the survey, there were around 928,000 job vacancies in the UK – a 42% increase on the number of vacancies found in the previous survey in 2013. However, whilst vacancies rose so did skills shortages, and almost a quarter of vacancies were deemed hard to fill. Skills shortage vacancies rose to 209,000 from 146,000 in 2013 – a 43% increase in just two years.How could this impact your business?Almost half of employers with skills shortages claim they lost business to competitors. Smallest businesses are hit the hardest, finding that 29% of their vacancies in 2015 were hard to fill due to lack of skills. These small firms, with 5 employees or less, make up half of all UK employers so it is a worrying statistic. Financial services and the construction sector have seen the sharpest rises in skills shortages. Skills shortages have more than doubled in two years in financial services, halting productivity in this highly important industry to the UK economy. Whilst in construction, skills shortages are hurting business, with 55% of employers saying they have lost business as a result.What skills are lacking?Time management, task prioritisation, customer handling skills and team working have proved particularly difficult for employers to find in candidates. Analytical, problem solving and mathematical skills are also amongst the hardest to find. These skills are key in helping businesses adapt and innovate, so a lack of them can greatly hinder business productivity and the growth of the UK economy as a whole.Skills gaps and under-utilisation3 in 10 employers admit they have staff with skills and qualifications above the level for their role. This means that around 2 million employees in the UK have skills that are being under-utilised. Some employers don’t see this as a huge problem but if they made the most of their employees’ skills, productivity could greatly increase.There is still a concern around skills gaps, however. Around 1.4 million employees in the UK lack the skills they need to fulfil their role. Skills gaps are leading to increased workload for other employees, higher operating costs, and difficulties in introducing new working practices.Working to develop employee skillsMost employers do offer training for their staff, with 63% of all workers in 2015 receiving training. However, this has only risen by 1% since 2013, and the types of training the majority of employers offer simply reflect the rise in recruitment – health and safety, and induction training.The survey has prompted questions about whether or not employers are utilising their employees’ talents. Are businesses tapping into and helping develop the right skills for the right employees? Surprisingly, managers are least likely to receive training, despite the fact they are instrumental in business decisions. This can be extremely damaging to business.How can edudo help?At edudo we think work based learning is any structured learning that is focused on the work role of individuals within a business or organisation.We work in partnership with some of the best employers in the UK to deliver training programmes that help them improve employee motivation, increase operational efficiency and ensure their people perform their roles competently, safely and effectively at all times.edudo offers its employer clients unique opportunities through its edu@work programmes to develop their staff work-related skills, abilities and competences through: apprenticeships, National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ Diplomas), functional skills, management development and a vast selection of statutory-related learning programmes.We’re dedicated to fighting against skills shortages in the UK – are you? Want to find out more? Get in touch with the edu@work team today on 0330 20 20 20 3 or tweet us @edu_at_work

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