Addressing skills gaps in the workplace
Companies need to ensure they have the right staff with the right skills to run their business successfully and maximise their opportunities for future growth.
However, 80 per cent of companies worry that they will not be able to fill skills gaps in the coming year, according to the annual CBI/Pertemps Network Group employment trends survey. The report also found that 79 per cent of respondents believed skills gaps would be their primary concern in 2018, up from 64 per cent in 2016.
The findings of the study show that the predicted skills gap is a cause of concern for many employers and recruiters. A lot of businesses feel that the skills gap will hinder business growth, competitiveness and productivity.
There is also the added uncertainty of the future labour market, as many businesses fear further skills shortages post Brexit.
Currently, many companies hire people from EU countries to fill the skills gap, but once the UK leaves the EU it is anticipated there may be greater restrictions on immigrants moving to Britain. Plus, a number of non-British workers may consider leaving the UK, with highly skilled workers most likely to go.
A study published by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) highlighted that the industries most at risk, in terms of recruitment shortages, are construction, health and social care, followed by engineering and technology.
Addressing the issues
If you’re concerned about a skills gap within your business, there are a few methods you can utilise to address the issue upfront and ensure that you can meet your business goals effectively.
Decipher what you require – is it an individual with a particular skill gap or an entire team? Knowing this will ensure that you either gain the right training for an employee or start the hiring process to bring on board someone who can learn the appropriate skills.
Outline the skills – know exactly what you need before you begin looking. Do you require a ready-made, experienced individual, or can you address the skills gap with an employment programme, such as Access to Employment, which helps you develop those skills and retain staff?
Review your current employees – is there anyone who could benefit from further training? Would fresh talent help bridge that gap? If you’ve always hired the same ways, this could be an indication as to why you have a skills gap in the first place. Trying a new recruitment method, such as a pre-employment training programme, could potentially fill that void that your business has been missing. Conducting ongoing employee assessments is a great way to ensure how performance is going and whether these skills gaps are being addressed effectively.
Overall, skills shortages can cost businesses a great deal of money, as they are forced to spend longer on recruiting employees and may need to use the services of recruitment agencies and hire temporary staff in the interim.
So, don’t let the skills gap hold you back. Contact the team at AtoE to find out how we can help your business in the future.