skills shortage

UK Businesses Face Worsening Skills Crisis

UK Businesses Face Worsening Skills Crisis

Figures released today indicate that UK businesses continue to face up to a worsening skills crisis, despite an overall rise in job creation. The latest labour market figures, produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), reveal that while there are 588,000 more people in work than this time last year, there has also been a 6% increase in the number of unfilled roles over the same period. These unfulfilled roles equate to around 756,000 vacancies and the on-going shortage in skilled workers is particularly acute in specialist areas such as IT and engineering. It has been estimated that addressing the shortage of skills in this area could generate £27bn per year for the UK economy from 2020. Steve Hill, director of external engagement at The Open University, commented: “The skills g... »

Small Businesses Now Rely on Flexible Workers to Fill Skills Gap

Small Businesses Now Rely on Flexible Workers to Fill Skills Gap

The majority of the UK’s small businesses now depend on flexible workers, including freelancers, project and part-time staff, to counter the UK’s skills shortage. According to research by Indeed, which featured 250 small and medium businesses, small business owners are also hiring flexible staff to help scale their business and expand – 44% of those surveyed see freelancers as a route to scale-up. Business owners are using freelance staff in order to compete with larger firms for talent as 39% said that giving the staff the option to work flexibly had helped them to attract skilled talent. However, the number of firms using flexible staff did vary according to region, with only 25% of companies in London using freelance staff – a stark contrast to 93% of small firms in the North West – sug... »

Half of UK Small Businesses Predict Growth in 2015

Despite confidence, significant percentage of small and medium firms worried red tape and skills shortage will hamper potential Small and mid-sized business confidence is on the rise, according to a new survey, with 50% of business owners predicting an increase in turnover and 21% expecting to recruit more staff in the next 12 months. Despite the positive outlook, the survey, released by energy company npower and featuring a 1,000 small and mid-sized firms, revealed that businesses remain concerned that growth could be delayed by external factors such as a skills-gap, access to funding and government regulation. Nearly half (49%) of the respondents stated that they were worried about the negative effect red tape and legislation could have; 47% of the entrepreneurs stated that lack of bank ... »

Hard Working Small Businesses Contribute £22bn to UK Economy

Almost one fifth of small business owners work over 60 hours a week New research has revealed that overtime worked by small businesses is worth an estimated £22bn to the UK economy, over 1% of the annual GDP. According to a report by digital lender Everline and the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR), four out of five small business owners worked overtime last month, with 18% working over 60 hours a week. The report, which included a survey of 1,000 small firms, revealed that 52% of small business owners plan to work on at least one bank holiday over the next 12 months, with 12% expecting to work this Boxing Day and 13% on New Year’s Day. This, according to Everline, will lead to a boost of £1.7bn to next year’s economy. The majority of respondents state that working overtime ... »