Lack of Skilled Workers and Changing Regulation ‘Hindering’ Small Firms

UK enterprise owners say STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) skills shortage is "adding significant pressures"

Lack of Skilled Workers and Changing Regulation ‘Hindering’ Small Firms

Some 58% of UK small business owners have claimed a lack of skilled workers and constant alterations to tax and regulatory requirements have added ‘significant pressures’ to their business, in the latest report by the Smith & Williamson Enterprise Index.

The survey of 159 small businesses found, that while 74% of those surveyed were planning for growth, an increasing number of small firms are failing to keep up to date with current regulation.

66% of respondents said they believe there is a skills shortage among young workers, particularly in STEM subjects, while less than half of business owners said there was sufficient talent available to fill vacant positions.

More worryingly, expectations for growth among business have also fallen 9% – the Index cited the EU referendum and general economic uncertainty as possible factors for this decline.

Rebecca Combes, head of business tax at the Southampton office of Smith & Williamson, said:

“A complex and uncertain tax system adds a challenge to ‘scale-up’ businesses. I don’t think tax is at the forefront of people’s mind when growing their business, however, it can present frustrating obstacles and hurdles and may cause some loss of momentum on the growth curve of a business.”

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