Employment grows but skills shortage still a concern

The unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest since July 2005, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The number of people in work rose by 176,000 to 31.7 million while those out of work fell by 54,000 between March and May 2016.

A Confederation of British Industry (CBI) survey of 500 companies with over 3 million employees collectively found that there is concern among owners about skills shortages.

69% of businesses don’t currently feel confident in pushing forward high-skilled jobs in the future.

There is a demand for higher skills with 77% expecting more jobs for people with higher skills over the coming years.

Firms are also committed to developing staff internally with only 24% outsourcing training.

Other findings:

  • 76% assign a budget for in-house training and development
  • 68% arrange mentoring and coaching opportunities
  • 73% support workers to study part-time
  • 71% offer apprenticeship programmes.

Josh Hardie, CBI deputy director-general, said:

“Following the vote to leave the EU, the UK must carve out a new economic future and this is an area where we must take action to support our competitiveness and prosperity.”

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI chief economist, added:

“Ultimately, increasing productivity, including by ensuring everyone has the skills to meet their full potential, will help to share prosperity across all areas of the UK.”

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