Report warns of looming skills crisis
A new report has warned of a looming skills crisis.
A report by the Prince’s Trust and HSBC suggests that more than two-thirds of South West businesses believe a significant skills crisis will hit their organisations within the next three years (69 per cent).
While 43 per cent predict this will happen within the next 12 months.
Two thirds of South West businesses surveyed fear skills shortages will slam the brakes on the UK’s economic recovery (66 per cent); while a third fear it would cause their business to fold (33 per cent).
The report, based on interviews with UK business leaders, including those from the South West, suggests that 81 per cent believe that the recruitment of young people into the workforce is vital to avert a skills crisis.
Dermot Finch, regional director of The Prince’s Trust in the South West, comments: “It is deeply concerning that employers in the South West are struggling to fill vacancies when we have thousands of unemployed young people who are desperate for work.
“The current economic recovery is encouraging, but in order to sustain this growth, UK plc needs to invest in the next generation to avoid a skills vacuum in the future.
“We are urging businesses to take action now to up-skill the workforce of the future to prevent the bubbling skills crisis from boiling over.”
The economic recovery has seen 66 per cent of local businesses reporting increased demand for their services over the past 12 months, with 60 per cent saying that they are growing faster than this time last year.
However, more than half of those surveyed pinpoint faster growth as the cause of current UK skills gaps (60 per cent) and 56 per cent cite their ageing workforce as a concern.