UK jobs and skills gap: UKCES says skills shortage has reached unprecedented levels, as one in four listed jobs remain unfilled

Lauren Fedor
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UKCES said the skills shortage has reached unprecedented levels (Source: Getty)

Employers are increasingly unable to find people with the skills or knowledge to fill jobs, according to a major new report out today.

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) annual survey found that despite an increase in the number of job openings, the number of positions left vacant because employers cannot find qualified people to fill them has more than doubled in the last four years. According to UKCES, which surveyed over 90,000 employers, so-called skills shortage vacancies now make up nearly one in four of all job listings.

Commenting on the report’s findings, British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) executive director of policy Adam Marshall said politicians will “ignore this at their peril”, adding: “The government needs to focus on the quality of apprenticeships, not the quantity.”

Marshall also said the report undermined the Home Office’s case for a £1,000 annual tax for employers hiring foreign workers: “Businesses are currently experiencing acute skills shortages and we shouldn’t further handicap them by increasing the cost of recruiting the talent they need.”

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