Northern Businesses Struggling To Fill Skills Gap

30% of businesses ‘up North’ admit they’ve wasted money on consultants that didn’t improve the performance of their company

Northern Businesses Struggling To Fill Skills Gap

Northern businesses are struggling to fill the skill gaps within their company and are turning to expensive and ineffective consultants to help them out, according to a report by Zeqr.

The survey of 250 enterprise owners has revealed that businesses ‘up North’ spend three times as much on consultants compared to their Southern counterparts – paying external experts £43,000 every year.

Northern firms also hire 43% more external consultants than those in the South, with data suggesting that the limited number of consultants based in the North results in less competitive prices and higher fees.

Not just a financial burden, Northern enterprises are also wasting a considerable amount of time in ‘engaging experts’ with the average business spending 48 days a year briefing consultants – compared to eight and a half days for London firms.

Worryingly, 30% of respondents admitted that the time and money they spent on consultants was wasted.

Of those, 70% said the advice they received didn’t meet their requirements, 54% said the fixed fees were inefficient, 24% said the advice was too complicated, 16% said long terms contracts were required even for short term requirements, while 16% said they received an unprofessional and inflexibility service.

Failing to recruit employees with the necessary know-how, advice and help on cyber security (49%) was the most sought after, followed by social media (38%), SEO (25%) and web building (21%).

Daniel Hedlund, co-founder of Zeqr, said:

“Our new research shows that access to experts is a postcode lottery. Moreover, Northern business owners in particular face huge financial investment to access this expertise. With businesses often relying on an existing or small pool of suppliers, this often results in less than satisfactory outcome that don’t help their bottom line.”

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