Skills shortage poses threat to UK businesses

Chris Papadopoullos
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A potential shortage of skills is a worry for firms (Source: Getty)
A shortage of skills in the UK could blight firms’ 2015 expansion plans, new survey data suggests.

Of 500 firms surveyed, 39 per cent said a lack of skilled workers would have negative impact on their business, according to figures released today by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

A potential shortage of skills was a bigger worry for firms in production – 46 per cent of firms in the production sector voiced concerns over skills shortages. Production mostly comprises manufacturing.

Despite firms saying shortages would be costly, 75 per cent of businesses said the government’s European Union immigration policy is likely to have a little or no impact on them in 2015.

“The immigration debate being played out is ignoring the business case, to its detriment,” said Stephen Ibbotson, ICAEW director of business.

“Most businesses are less concerned about the government’s immigration policy than skills shortages in 2015. The question should be how can we up-skill our workforce instead.”

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