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Skilled shortages – We’re not cutting the mustard

Posted on Jan 5th 2015

The current skills shortage is a real and present threat to Britain’s growing companies. It’s an issue that faces business across all sectors and disciplines.

Kevin Green, chief executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), whose members are "on the front line of the UK labour market" as he puts it, paints an alarming picture.

"Last year we had nine areas of skills shortages, now we have 43 areas. Every single type of engineering is in short supply, from mechanical to software, civil to electrical," says Mr Green.

"In IT, coders, programmers, developers are all in short supply; there's a shortage of doctors and nurses in the National Health Service; and we need about 20,000 more teachers in the UK.

"And the situation's been getting worse month-on-month over the last 18 months," he adds.

In terms of location the worst affected areas of the UK are the North West and Midlands, where 93pc and 87pc of firms respectively were affected by a lack of skills. The appetite for growth is there: 83pc of fast-growth firms are upping their spend on R&D and new resources, for example. But skilled people seem to be the missing link in their growth strategies.

The Government publishes a list of the jobs that are in short supply in the UK. 

To take a look at the full list follow this link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/308513/shortageoccupationlistapril14.pdf

The FSB wants the business and education community to collaborate more closely together to ensure young people are ready for work. It adds: “Employability skills must be embedded from an early age; the labour market has changed dramatically in recent years and businesses are adapting, but the education system needs to catch up.”

Interesting Fact: the First Modern Computer was proposed by Alan Turing in 1936  and became the foundation for theories about computing and computers.