The skills gap is costing UK businesses more than £2 billion a year in higher salaries, temporary staff and recruitment costs, new research from the Open University has shown.
The Open University Business Barometer has revealed that 90 per cent of employers have found it difficult to recruit workers with the required skills in the last 12 months, while some have had to increase salaries above the market rate to attract talent. This costs UK firms at least £527 million.
A study by the Open University has revealed that UK businesses are spending more than £2 billion a year in an attempt to combat the skills gap.
At present, the UK has the lowest unemployment rate since 2005, while workers are reluctant to change jobs due to continued Brexit uncertainty, said the Open University researchers. This is combined with the fact that European nationals are increasingly unwilling to take up roles in the UK due to the lack of clarity about immigration rules once the country leaves the EU.
This has resulted in an extended recruitment process, with 75 per cent of employers reporting that it is taking them longer to find new hires. According to the Open University study, this means many businesses will see extra costs in the form of recruitment fees and hiring temporary staff. This is estimated to be at least £1.7 billion.
Top talent is therefore in very high demand, with the most skilled now able to command a higher salary. In the last 12 months, some 56 per cent of businesses reported having to boost the offered salary for a role well above market rate to obtain the skills they needed. The average increase was £4,150 per hire for SMEs and £5,575 per hire for larger organisations.
Managerial and IT roles are proving the most difficult to fill, according to the Open University, with one in five struggling to hire both senior managers (21 per cent) and mid-level managers (19 per cent), while 47 per cent of employers said they are struggling to attract talent with the right IT skills.
Steve Hill, external engagement director at the Open University, said: “Organisations need an agile workforce that can embrace change and meet new challenges. The cost of the skills gap to the UK economy shows it must become a business and government priority to build the skills and capabilities of each individual through investing in talent at all levels.”
Posted by Jon Aspinell on 4th July 2017
Backend Developer (.NET/C#/SQL)
South West London, London
£70000 - £80000 per annum + bonus + private health
A market leading software company near Clapham Junction which boasts some of the world's leading technology companies...
PHP Software Developer
Up to £40000 per annum + very good bens
Senior PHP Developer - Farnborough A small but very innovative software company is seeking an experienced PHP Softwar...
Software Engineer (.NET full stack)
Up to £55000 per annum
Software Engineer (Full Stack) - Surrey - £55,000 A fantastic opportunity has arisen for an experienced Software Engi...
Graduate Data Analyst - Islington, Lo...
Up to £30000 per annum
Graduate Data Analyst - Angel, Islington. A well-established market research business is looking to recruit a confide...
Technical Architect- Bristol - £70,000
£65000 - £70000 per annum
Technical Architect- Bristol - £70,000 A highly successful, global tech firm based in Bristol are looking for an expe...
Test Automation Engineer / Test Analyst
Up to £55000 per annum
Test Automation Engineer - Bristol - £55,000 A highly successful global tech company with offices across the UK, Euro...
How can you ensure cohesive communication with a team of remote workers?
Remote working is becoming increasingly adopted by organisations across the globe - whether that takes the form of an...
Can HR tech ease workplace conflict?
Workplace conflict is mostly unavoidable - particularly when businesses hire strong-minded talent with big ideas. Ego...
What to prioritise in your employee experience
The candidate experience has long been valued by employers looking to attract fresh talent. Now, however, companies a...
What can HR expect in 2018?
HR departments are set to face many new challenges in 2018, from the technological to the traditional. Among the most...
From communication to drive: The importance of soft skills
Soft skills are often difficult to quantify, yet they can become an absolute necessity for your business to reach its...
Only one in three workers say their employers offer training
Just one-third of workers report that their employer offers regular training opportunities, a new poll by the Trades ...