In a recent survey the Chartered Insurance Institute reported there was a large increase in the number of employers who said a skills shortage was having a detrimental impact on their business rising from 50 per cent in 2009 to 72 per cent in 2010.
42% of respondents stated that UK skills shortages were greater than those experienced by international competitors.
When asked about whether the government would have a positive effect on UK skills levels, respondents were very clear that with restricted government spending employers would have to contribute more to ensure their businesses are supplied with the skilled staff they need.
The survey is generally reflective of the growing concern that skill shortages will be an impediment to future growth and that skills gaps will not be closed quickly and easily in the UK.
Many skills gaps are well known such as welders and fabricators but the problem is more widely spread with the care sector finding it very hard to fill basic positions let alone to find additional nurses. Even skilled butchers and bakers are hard to find as are people prepared to work in antisocial type rolls involving cold environments or split shifts.
Many employers continue to look to Eastern Europe for solutions and the voices of Polish workers will be in our factories and on our high streets for many a year.
Author: Chris Slay
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