The report from the government’s skills experts, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, finds that the number of job vacancies in England has returned to pre-recession levels. However, so-called “skills shortage vacancies” – where businesses cannot find recruits with the skills required – are growing twice as fast. The UK Commission’s Employer Skills Survey interviewed over 90,000 employers between March and July 2013. They reported a total of 559,600 job vacancies in England – up 45% per cent from 2009. However, skills shortage vacancies nearly doubled over the same period, increasing from 63,100 to 124,800. Overall, skills shortage vacancies – which occur when employers cannot find people with the right skills and qualifications to do the job – now account for more than one in five of all vacancies (22%) up from one in six (16%) in 2009.
The report also finds that
- Skills shortages are much more prevalent in some occupations and sectors than others – for example, in skilled trades such as plumbing and in health and social care.
- The density of skills shortages varies across the UK, being most acute in Scotland, where 25% of vacancies are caused by skills shortages, and less of a problem in Northern Ireland, where they account for 19% of vacancies.
- Nearly half of employers across the UK (48%) admit they recruit people with higher levels of skills and knowledge than required for the job.
- The number of establishments providing training for their staff is back to pre-recession levels, although the amount spent on training has decreased from £1,680 per employee in 2011 to £1,590 in 2013.
- Only a minority of business are prepared to give education leavers their first job, but when they do, they find their new recruits are generally well-prepared for work. College leavers are reported as more “work ready” than school leavers of the same age.
As published on www.ukces.org.uk