Employers are increasingly concerned by skills shortages developing as business growth picks up after the financial crisis.
Almost three-quarters (73%) of British businesses believe that the UK will face a skills crisis within the next three years, and four in ten expect it to happen within 12 months, according to a new report.
Research conducted by The Prince’s Trust and HSBC shows that many businesses are seeing skills gaps now. The two organisations interviewed more than 600 business leaders for their “Skills Crunch” report and found that a third (32%) have skills shortages at entry level and more than half (53%) are currently facing difficulties filling vacancies.
Another third (35%) are concerned that skills shortages would cause their business to fold.
Yet at the same time, hundreds of thousands of unemployed young people want to get into work. It’s important for employers to act now in order to up-skill the workforce of the future, the report said.
Work experience, training and apprenticeships are vital to develop these future skills and help young people build a successful and rewarding career.
Among the business leaders who took part in the Skills Crunch survey, 72% believe that the recruitment of young people into the workforce is vital to avert a skills crisis.
This finding was welcomed by Alex Curling, assistant director at the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), but she said that employers must now turn words into action to resolve this issue because young people need more opportunities from employers to get into employment.