Firms hiring but skills gap a worry


Published: Monday 22nd December 2014 by The News Editor

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Half of firms plan to hire more workers next year, but some jobs could remain unfilled because of skills shortages, a new study has shown.

A survey of 323 businesses by the CBI revealed that permanent jobs will outstrip temporary work in 2015 as the economy continues to recover.

But skills gaps and worries about new regulations damaging job creation have emerged, said the report.

Jobs growth is expected in every region of the UK, with Scotland leading the way, while employment prospects for young people have improved.

The study of firms, employing more than 1.2 million workers, also showed that pay is expected to rise in 2015, although at a “cautious” rate.

Katja Hall, the CBI’s deputy director general, said: “Businesses are planning to create jobs in every region of the UK next year as the recovery continues, and more and more of those jobs will be permanent. The outlook for young people is also looking brighter as firms look to boost their graduate in-take and expand apprenticeships.

“We want to see everyone enjoy the rewards of the economic recovery. Growth should work for everyone, and skills are the key route to ensuring that this happens through improved productivity and pay.

“It’s a concern that the UK’s growing skills gap is now seen as the number one workforce threat to the long-term health of its economy. Companies and the Government need to work together to find ways to develop skills within the workforce and help employees move into higher skilled and better paid jobs.

“Those in regular work through the year saw wages rise this year and this trend will continue in 2015. Overall, for those in regular work, wage increases have broadly kept pace with inflation, although those with more broken employment histories have seen little respite.”

Olly Benzecry, managing director of Accenture, which helped with the report, added: “The positive outlook on jobs growth revealed in this survey is a welcome sign of the UK’s economic recovery. However we must make sure we have workers with the skills required to drive the UK’s competitiveness, and this requires a comprehensive approach to skills development.”

Published: Monday 22nd December 2014 by The News Editor

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