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Bank predicts worsening skills gap in 2005

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The UK’s skills gap is expected to stretch this year, making it hard for employers to fill technical positions.

A fresh report by Lloyds TSB bank predicts that skills shortages could lead to labour market ‘bottlenecks’. In turn, it says, this could have an upward influence on wages for many skilled positions.

According to a study by PayFinder.com, the salary comparison website, the current average wage stands at £27,723, a 13% rise on £24,489 in 2003.

The survey, of 2,000 people, also ties in with research by KPMG and the London Chamber of Commerce, previously reported on HRZone, which found that over two-thirds of mid-sized businesses in the capital expected the shortage of skilled staff to be a major barrier to growth in 2005.

A similar survey by the Tenon Forum found that 43% of SMEs had difficulties in recruiting which they blamed on inadequate levels of education or training in the workforce.

The Lloyds TSB survey also found that most workers felt secure in their jobs and only one in four believed their position was more precarious than this time last year.

The bank said figures backed up this sentiment, with employment indicators remaining strong for this year. Prospects for economic growth were also encouraging, it said.

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Annie Hayes

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