UK firms making compromises in hires as skills shortage stunts growth

With growth critical to business success, the overwhelming majority of those questioned, nine in ten, feel the current skills crisis is holding back UK growth, with three in four businesses experiencing a skills shortage.

In response, UK businesses are taking action to counter the skills gap by training staff and developing the right skills in-house. Three-quarters of respondents said they are investing in programmes to diversify skills within the workplace to ensure growth and productivity.

In addition to the introduction of training programmes, UK companies are being increasingly flexible with the contracts they offer, in response to employee demand. The survey found that, 84 per cent of companies have seen a rise in demand for flexible employment contracts. Specifically, flexi-time and working from home arrangements have increased.

Ian Dowd, marketing director, NGA HR UK, said: “There is no doubt that the UK is suffering from a skills shortage and our research shows how this is impacting British businesses. HR departments cannot forget the critical role they play in finding and retaining the right skills – from putting structured training plans in place and working internally to fulfil demand to aligning recruitment with overall business strategy.”