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Employers told to start hiring process early to dodge skills shortage

10 Mar 14  | Recruitment News

A new study has warned that employers who bank on filling up their vacancies quickly will ultimately come unstuck due to a shortage in skilled workers, reports The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), the government skills watchdog, claims that 22 per cent of all vacancies in 2013 were hard to fill as companies struggled to find staff with the right sets of skills.

An increase on the 16 per cent of all jobs from 2009, from 63,100 up to an alarming 124,800, this stresses just how important it is that companies spent plenty of time in sourcing and interviewing their candidates to get the right personnel in.

The group surveyed over 90,000 employers between March and July, finding written communication (lacking in 41 per cent of job searches), literacy (lacking in 34 per cent) and numeracy skills (lacking in 26 per cent) to be among the most sought after attributes.

UKCES chief executive Michael Davis said the study brought good news for skilled employees but huge warnings for employers.

"On the one hand, the number of job vacancies are up and in England have returned to pre-recession levels," he told "On the other, skills-shortage vacancies are growing faster than vacancies."

Matthew Hancock, minister for skills and enterprise, has responded to the study by stressing that his team has been working hard to develop a system which equips people for working life. He added that a skilled workforce will be vital for the UK's competitiveness on a global scale.
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