February 8, 2018
Half of employers believe that Brexit will worsen the UK skills gap and nearly a quarter (23 percent) believe that Britain is not prepared to compete on the global stage, which will become even more important following the UK’s exit from the European Union in 2019. These are the findings of a research paper entitled “Solving the UK Skills Shortage” from Rober Walters, totaljobs and Jobsite which claims that almost two thirds of employers (65 percent) believe that they will be negatively impacted by skills shortages in 2018, with this shortage predicted to be most acute at junior and mid management level according to over half (52 percent) of employers. According to the research, employers may have to look to different industries to find the transferable skills that are essential to grow. This means that there will be more opportunities for skilled candidates to use their knowledge and experience in different sectors, providing them with new challenges and opportunities in industries that they may not have considered before.
Said David Clift, HR Director for totaljobs: “As we head closer towards Brexit employers will have to think differently about how they attract and retain the best talent from across the globe. For current staff, training will be key to closing any skills gaps, and giving employees the confidence that the businesses they work for can help them fulfil their career ambitions.
“When it comes to attracting staff, employers will have to look to different industries to find the transferable skills that are essential to grow. This means that there will be more opportunities for skilled candidates to use their knowledge and experience in different sectors, providing them with new challenges and opportunities in industries that they may not have considered before.
“Shortages are likely to be particularly severe at the junior and mid-management, partly due to the long-term impact of the 2008 financial crisis, when levels of graduate recruitment fell sharply.
“Employers looking to find long-term solutions to the current skills shortage should focus on engaging with and informing graduates and university students of the opportunities available in their industry.”
The survey asked employers and employees what means they’d suggest to combat a skills shortage:
- 28 percent of employers would target professionals from other fields who possess transferable skills and 49 percent would use internal training to upskill staff
- 57 percent of candidates would look for roles in other fields where their skills would be transferable
- 48 percent of candidates believe that employers should partner more effectively with local universities and educate students on potential career paths and 48% believe that they should offer work placements
“While the ultimate impact Brexit may have is not yet clear, it is possible that employers will have to revise recruitment strategies to compensate for the lack of easy and simple access to professionals in Europe,” Said Chris Hickey, Robert Walters CEO – UK, Middle East and Africa.
“Developing innovative strategies to address skills shortages will be critical for employers in order to help their businesses remain competitive in a crowded global marketplace. Employers may need to consider broadening their hiring criteria and sourcing professionals with transferable skills from other professional backgrounds.”
“In many cases, in addition to helping employers fill business critical vacancies, this approach can help bring new and innovative ideas into an organisation due to their varied background.”
“Additionally, employers should consider the potential in building relationships with universities and colleges, giving them the opportunity to interact with students to help position them as desirable employers and to give students the opportunity to develop the skills early on that will help them thrive in the workplace.”