Evolution of market development, in a world that is increasingly small in technological terms. will mean that there are ebbs and flow in skills demand locally , nationally and internationally.
There will always be a role for agencies in bringing together the concerned parties whether it is provision of an inanimate commodity or a form of human resource.
It is very rare indeed that the skills gaps can not be plugged, if the price is right, but market forces will prevail and shortages will be be reflected by higher prices and it is essential that the buyer identifies the skills they want when looking for people to hire.
If you want trained people the price will be higher. If you want on the job experience, the price will be higher. If you want fluency in English the price will be higher. Recruitment of overseas workers can plug the skills gap but should be seen as an alternative source of labour, not cheap labour.
A classic example is the care industry. Here we have high demand, but low local supply as many find the working environment unattractive and antisocial with long hours and low pay. The gap was filled from around the world, attracting in people from the the Indian sub continent and the far East and and Eastern Europe, especially Bulgarians and Romanians.
The government then increased demand by wanting more care at home but at the same time cut out access to traditional supply sources and this has resulted in the cost of labour rising as now the only viable source is from Eastern Europe.For many care operators they have had to bite the bullet and accept labour input rises way above the price of inflation and in some cases into double digits. Operators are at the same time being asked by local authorities to either hold or reduce the fees they charge.
It simply doesn’t add up at present and the Care Industry faces increasingly challenging times ahead.
Author: Chris Slay
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