Skills shortages affecting construction and manufacturing the most, survey finds

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13th July 2015 15:04 - Construction

This year’s CBI/Pearson Education Skills Survey has revealed that the construction and manufacturing industry will find acquiring fresh talent Skills shortages affecting construction and manufacturing the most, survey findsdifficult in the next few years, as a UK-wide skills shortage has been highlighted by companies across the country.

The 310 companies in the survey revealed that the UK is facing a skills shortage and despite this, 68 per cent of businesses anticipate the demand for skilled workers to grow in the next few years.

Of the companies surveyed, 55 per cent believe that they will find recruitment for skilled workers hard and thus struggle to gain the staff they need.

The survey also found that there is a clear need for skilled employees in industries paramount to the recovery of the economy, for example, engineering, science and hi-tech (74 per cent), construction (73 per cent), and manufacturing (69 per cent).

Following the Budget, an apprenticeship levy put in place in relation to large employers. However, the CBI worries that a high level of business-relevant training will be put on the back burner, in favour of quickly meeting the Government’s target of 3 million apprenticeships. With this, the apprenticeships will not necessarily help SMEs, who need apprentices to be trained to a high calibre.

In 2013/2014, only 2 per cent of apprentices entered into a higher apprenticeship scheme (equivalent to the first stages of higher education).

Although opportunities to commence with an apprenticeship programme are on the rise, the survey indicates that reforms must now start, with 66 per cent of companies being involved in an apprenticeship scheme and provision spanning past traditional industries such as manufacturing (76 per cent) to new industries such as professional services (42 per cent) and accounting and legal services.

Of the respondents, 62 per cent said that they expect to broaden their apprenticeship schemes or anticipate to seek an apprentice in the coming three years. This percentage is the highest since the survey began back in 2008.

81 per cent of the companies questioned claimed that Government reforms had been well received within their company. However, 29 per cent said that they were worried about bureaucracy and red tape and 25 per cent were concerned about funding reforms.

Of the participants, 38 per cent said that finding a relationship between business requirements and qualifications would make more businesses get involved in apprenticeship schemes. As well as this, giving companies more purchasing power would do the same, according to 34 per cent of the respondents.

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