UK skills shortage threatens to derail economic recovery


The UK economy is facing an emerging skills shortage, which threatens to derail recovery and undermine the country’s growth prospects. Talent mismatch problems have been exacerbated over the past year as the economy shows signs of recovery, opportunities are being created but the necessary skilled resources are unavailable. Talent mismatch issues in the UK are particularly apparent in industries such as oil and gas, energy, IT and construction where niche skills are in increasingly high demand. In Europe, the only countries that face greater talent mismatch challenges than those of the UK are Spain, Portugal and Ireland – all economies badly affected by the Eurozone crisis. These are the findings of the Hays Global Skills Index 2013, a report published today by Hays plc, the leading global professional recruiting group, produced in collaboration with Oxford Economics.

The report, titled ‘The Great Talent Mismatch’ and based on an analysis of employment markets across 30 major global economies, highlights the extent to which businesses and governments have to work together to build the right skills pipeline for sustainable recovery and growth.

Hays’ Chief Executive Alistair Cox said: “This year’s Hays Global Skills Index makes it very clear that the pressure on the UK labour market is increasing. Too many skilled jobs are now going unfilled because the right skills are in increasingly short supply. This makes a real dent on a company’s ability to grow and constrains the UK’s economic prospects at a time when we need to be encouraging a sustained recovery.