UK Businesses Face Worsening Skills Crisis

Figures show that there are now 756,000 unfulfilled job vacancies, with the largest skills shortage in the IT and engineering sectors

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 gap is affecting everyone, holding back businesses and having a knock-on effect on British economic productivity.

“In most cases, the answer to this shortage is right under our noses – with up to 90% of the current workforce still in work over the next decade. With the right training and up-skilling, these individuals can become the engineers, data scientists and high-skilled digital workforce the UK needs to compete on the world stage.’’

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