Over half of key UK industries suffering from skills shortages

More than half of key UK industries believe their sector is suffering a skills shortage, new research suggests.

A survey commissioned by recruitment outsourcing provider Elemense implies that the lack of skills are perceived as worst in the technical and engineering industries, with 57.7% of respondents identifying a problem. This was followed by finance or HR professions, with 26.6%.

Over half (54.5%) of the 1,100 respondents felt that the lack of skills in science, technology, engineering and maths would only get worse over the next five years.

Peter Collis, Managing Director of Elemense, says: “The results come amid fears that the UK is slipping in its capacity to compete against global rivals, particularly in the technology and knowledge-based economy, as businesses and organisations find it increasingly difficult to find candidates with appropriate technical and engineering skills and experience.

“One of the most concerning things is that a majority are predicting the situation will only get worse, and is particularly bad in sectors such as engineering, where expertise is crucial to compete in high value, knowledge-based markets.

"Our country needs growth more than ever and without the skills to compete in key industries we are in danger of being left behind – with all the consequences that will bring for communities, jobs and investment. We hope others will follow us in calling on the government to give this challenge the utmost priority and take action now to ensure that the UK has the workforce for the future.”

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