Engineering and technology skills shortage threatens UK growth, survey finds

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2nd October 2015 13:06 - Engineering

A recent engineering and technology survey has revealed that a skills shortage is negatively affecting the UK’s productivity growth and economic expansion.

The research, which was conducted by Hays and Oxford Economics, revealed that talent shortages within the UK have got worse for the fourth consecutive year.

The United Kingdom is now ranked amongst the worst skill shortages in Europe.

The engineering and technology industry has been particularly impacted, with many employers being pushed into a ‘war of talent’. The increasing talent shortage is adding to the mounting pressure as the UK economy is already struggling with weak productivity levels.

Despite the unemployment rate having decreased to levels seen before the financial crisis and the first signs of wage growth after years of stagnation, Hay's have revealed a sceptical outlook.

Alistair Cox, Chief Executive at Hay’s said of the findings:

"UK growth prospects are better than they have been in a long time but employers are facing ever-greater challenges around finding the talent they need,"

"This can only mean that the productivity challenges we face as a nation will become even more severe."

Cox added that the issue is worsened by the United Kingdom’s Government policy that makes it difficult for domestic businesses to recruit highly skilled employees from outside of Europe.

Cox claimed that enticing new talent is an important part of the solution, which also requires enhanced training and greater investment in technology.

According to the Chartered Institute for Personnel Development, 50 per cent of companies in the UK have been struggling with low productivity and have not taken steps such as investing in staff and new technology, which would help to address the problem.

The government in the UK has revealed that 3 million apprentices will be trained by 2020 to fill talent gaps in the most impacted sectors, such as engineering.

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