The combination of chronic skills gaps in high-skill industries such as engineering and IT, and the demands of a recovering economy have created a perfect storm in the UK labour market.
This ultimately limits the prospects of every business. Companies are likely to face an even fiercer war for talent in the future, as the continuing economic recovery further stimulates confidence in hiring – highlighting, in turn, the lack of workers with relevant skills. Organisations will face ever-greater challenges in recruiting the talent they need to flourish.
To view the Hays Global Skills Index 2014, please click here.
We have created three key recommendations to business leaders and policy makers to help develop the talent pipeline and ensure we have the right skills for the future. These are:
1. Business need to partner with education authorities to create education systems that ensure all countries are producing graduates with the skills that closely align with what businesses need.
2. Governments need to work with business to ensure that labour regulations are developed with the direct aim of increasing the availability of workers with the required skills.
3. Government policy must draw a clear distinction between mass immigration and skilled migration to ensure organisations have access to the skilled workers they need.
To read these recommendations in full detail and to view the full Global Skills Index click here.
Commenting on the findings of the report, Hays’ Chief Executive Alistair Cox said: “The Hays Global Skills Index makes it very clear that organisations are increasingly facing major issues finding the talent they need – particularly in areas such as technology and engineering.
“The UK’s chronic skills shortage is one of the biggest threats to our nations future prospects. If this talent mismatch continues to rise at the current rate as the economy improves, we will reach crisis point in a matter of months.
“There is no miracle cure for the issue but in the lead-up to a General Election we have to start by acknowledging the problems. Despite some Government efforts to cut red tape and create a more business-friendly legislative environment, our research shows labour market flexibility has actually declined.
Equally, there is greater scope for Government to work with businesses and education providers to develop the workforce we will need in the medium term. Shorter term, the only viable route to find sufficient numbers of skilled workers to fill the jobs we are now creating is to look overseas. However, we need to revisit our skilled immigration policies to make this happen. The Government must take a long-term view and make sure immigration policy is sensitive to employer needs. In the meantime, businesses need to take responsibility for their future workforce and work hand-in-hand with education providers to develop tomorrow’s talent pool.”