EEF slams government over skills shortage as new survey finds nearly three in four firms are struggling to recruit skilled workers

Lauren Fedor
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Behind The Scenes At The Bristol Airbus Factory
A skilled worker at an Airbus factory in Bristol (Source: Getty)

​Nearly three in four manufacturers have struggled to recruit skilled workers in the last three years, and almost just as many are worried they will face similar problems in the years to come, according to a new survey out today from the EEF.

The EEF said firms are dealing with a lack of quantity and quality when it comes to applicants, with not enough people applying for roles and too few job-seekers having the technical skills required to fill vacancies. Nearly two-thirds of EEF members polled said they were suffering from a “lack of technical skills”, while 64 per cent said they had not enough applicants.

The EEF has slammed the government over the so-called skills shortage, saying ministers have “failed to get to grips” with the issue.

“Despite multiple warnings about the UK’s yawning skills gap, the dial hasn’t moved since 2012,” said the EEF’s Tim Thomas. “Government must match the ambitions of industry and ensure that the education and training system delivers the skills that employers require. Policies must help, not hinder firms. They should provide support, rather than hitting employers with additional costs that could potentially hold them back.”

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