More than 200,000 skilled jobs up for grabs in Britain

January 29, 2016 7:42 am 

LONDON, Jan. 28 — Employers in Britain have more than 200,000 jobs to fill but cannot find enough skilled people to fill the vacancies, a report from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills revealed Thursday. Economic growth over the past four years has resulted in an unprecedented shortage of skills, according to the commission.

Their report found: "Despite a surge in job openings, the number of positions left vacant because employers cannot find people with the skills or knowledge to fill them has risen by 130 percent since 2011."

The figures, published today, show so-called "skills shortage vacancies" now make up nearly a quarter of all job openings, leaping from 91,000 in 2011 to 209,000 in 2015.

Although most sectors are suffering from skills shortages, the situation is particularly acute for some.

Over a third of job vacancies in electricity, gas and water and construction are now due to skills shortages, with transport and manufacturing not far behind.

Researchers interviewed over 90,000 establishments across Britain to produce the commission's Employer Skills Survey. Widely regarded as one of the largest and most comprehensive surveys of its kind in the world, the survey gathers data from employers on a wide range of issues, from skills gaps and shortages to investment in training and under-employment.

The report found that the financial services sector had seen the sharpest rise in skills shortages, rising from 10 percent in 2013 to 21 percent in 2015.

It also revealed that time management was a significant issue, with nearly 60 percent of businesses reporting a skills gap, saying that their staff lacked the ability to manage their own time and prioritize tasks.

Across Britain, two million workers are under-utilized, having skills and experience which are not being used in their current job.

Lesley Giles, deputy director at the commission, said: "With global competition intensifying, the UK urgently needs to boost its productivity. To do that, we need people with the right skills. But that's only half the story. Creating good jobs that produce high-quality, bespoke goods and services is just as important."

One of the commissioners, Douglas McCormick, added: "The UK has witnessed exceptionally strong job creation in the past few years, creating jobs at a faster rate than any other EU country. However, this growth has been accompanied by stalling productivity levels. Evidence from the Employer Skills Survey suggests that developing the skills of the existing workforce to taking advantage of new technology and digitization will be critical if the UK is to finally close the productivity gap." (PNA/Xinhua)

LAP/EDS

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