Bosses are finding it tough to secure the right talent for new positions and costing businesses billions, new figures reveal. A report by The Open University has revealed that businesses could be burning around £2.2 billion a year due to the growing skills gap, including cost-heavy factors such as higher salaries, additional recruitment and temporary staff.
A major financial hit to many employers, some bosses have had to inflate the salaries of particularly competitive positions as 90% of recruiters admit to struggling to secure the right talent. Coming at a time when unemployment is at its lowest since 2005 and productivity is at its lowest average in over 20 years, the recruitment process is taken much longer than expected; 75% of bosses believed finding the appropriate staff took almost two months more than previous years, incurring additional fees and necessitating extra temporary staff.
Apprenticeships across the country are expected to double over the next year, with managers expected to change the type of additional staff training to maintain the level of staff required. Seeing the pay gap as an opportunity to hone ‘homegrown talent’ and encourage youth engagement and retention. Although many are positive despite the skills gap, 69% admit they are fearful of the future, with 58% concerned that the lack of talent has damaged their company and could take several years to recover. According to experts at the university, businesses need to reassess their recruitment methods.
“faced with a shrinking talent pool, exacerbated by the uncertainties of Brexit, it is more important that employers invest in developing their workforce,” said Steve Hill, external engagement director at The Open University. “he 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.
“The Open University has a number of offerings, such as degree apprenticeships, which help to future-proof UK businesses and enable lifelong learning, as well as enabling greater social mobility by increasing opportunities.”