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Skills shortages in UK rise 130% in four years

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Staff writer ▼ | January 29, 2016
New research shows that the modest economic growth of the past four years has been met by an unprecedented shortage of skills, leaving thousands of vacancies unfilled.
Skilled worker
Talent poverty   An unprecedented shortage of skills
Despite a surge in job openings, the number of positions left vacant because employers cannot find people with the skills or knowledge to fill them has risen by 130% since 2011.

The figures, published today, show so-called “skills shortage vacancies” now make up nearly a quarter of all job openings, leaping from 91,000 in 2011 to 209,000 in 2015.

Although most sectors are suffering from skills shortages, the situation is particularly acute for some. Over a third of vacancies in electricity, gas and water and construction are now due to skills shortages, with transport and manufacturing not far behind. Only in public administration are skills shortages below 10%.

Researchers interviewed over 90,000 establishments across the UK to produce the Employer Skills Survey from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.

Widely regarded as being one of the largest and most comprehensive surveys of its kind in the world, the survey gathers data from employers on a wide range of issues - from skills gaps and shortages to investment in training and under-employment.

The financial services sector has seen the sharpest rise in skills shortages, rising from 10% in 2013 to 21% in 2015

Time management is a significant issue, with nearly 60% of establishments who reported a skills gap saying that their staff lacked the ability to manage their own time and prioritise tasks

Across the UK, two million workers are under-utilised – that is, they have skills and experience which are not being used in their current job.


 

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