In its latest survey the CBI states that the UK is facing a high-skills shortage, so severe that it is threatening to quash economic growth. This is the third year running that the CBI is ringing the warning bell, backing its findings on a survey of 310 firms employing 1.2 million people in the UK. Two thirds of these businesses are expecting to need more high-skilled staff in 2016 and more than half fear that they will not be able to find them.
“The gaps are mostly in the high value sectors such as science and technology” says Ian Temple, CEO Hydrogen Group. “The Budget includes a levy on businesses to fund apprenticeships, but this is unlikely to deliver the high-skills training required by these rapidly growing industries.” he adds.
Hydrogen Group promotes that sufficient training in maths, engineering and science, coupled with a structured work experience or internship programme is the only way to feed the economy with the skills that are in short supply.
“While many firms do a brilliant job training their workforces, there are too many large companies who leave the training to others and take a free ride on the system,” claims the Chancellor, Mr Osborne.
This may be true but it does not change the fact that skills shortages are already impacting key sectors and demand for higher level skills continues to rise.
“We need to put some thought on how to raise skill levels so businesses have the right people to tackle the changing landscape of the talent market” says Temple. “Some of the core areas that we work in such as Digital/Business Transformation, Technology and Life Sciences are growing rapidly. Firms will need to take on some responsibility when in comes to skilling up the next generation.” Temple remarked.