The ever-increasing skills gap in the UK is set to worsen in 2018 according to 50% of employers

Skill shortages

According to the ‘Solving the UK Skills Shortage’ research paper from Robert Walters, Jobsite and totaljobs, almost two thirds (65%) of employers believe they will face a shortage of skilled professionals in 2018. This shortage will be felt mostly at junior and mid-management level, according to over half (52%) of employers.

The proverbial gap is set to widen as, as half of the employers surveyed believe Brexit will exacerbate the skills shortage. This, in turn, is set to affect Britain’s performance on a global stage as 23% of businesses don’t believe we can compete due to the skills gap.

David Clift, HR Director, totaljobs comments, “As we head closer towards Brexit employers will have to think differently about how they attract and retain the best talent from across the globe. For current staff, training will be key to closing any skills gaps, and giving employees the confidence that the businesses they work for can help them fulfil their career ambitions. Shortages are likely to be particularly severe at the junior and mid-management, partly due to the long-term impact of the 2008 financial crisis, when levels of graduate recruitment fell sharply.”

So, what can be done to combat the current skills shortage? The research found:

28% of employers would target professionals from other fields who possess transferable skills and 49% would use internal training to upskill staff

57% of candidates would look for roles in other fields where their skills would be transferable

48% of candidates believe that employers should partner more effectively with local universities and educate students on potential career paths and 48% believe that they should offer work placements

“Employers looking to find long-term solutions to the current skills shortage should focus on engaging with and informing graduates and university students of the opportunities available in their industry.” Clift adds

Chris Hickey, Robert Walters CEO – UK, Middle East and Africa, says “While the ultimate impact Brexit may have is not yet clear, it is possible that employers will have to revise recruitment strategies to compensate for the lack of easy and simple access to professionals in Europe.”

“Developing innovative strategies to address skills shortages will be critical for employers in order to help their businesses remain competitive in a crowded global marketplace.”