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Brexit skills shortages

08 Aug 10:00 by Leigh-Jay Lawrence

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Three in five firms say the UK’s skills shortage worsened in the last year.

Additionally, more than half expect the situation to further deteriorate, all of this according to research from the Open University.

The lack of available talent is already affecting 91 percent of employers surveyed. Collectively, those businesses said they spent £6.3bn last year to combat a shortage of required skills.

Uncertainty about future visa arrangements and the “right to remain” for EU citizens has left many employers concerned about access to international talent, with 48 percent of those polled saying they expect Brexit to further restrict availability.

Senior positions have so far presented the most difficult for companies looking to hire - 56 percent of those polled said they had struggled to fill management positions over the past year.

According to the research, the Government 'will struggle to fill low-skilled jobs after Brexit', as Brexit has already created an unnecessary rivalry between EU and non-EU migrants.

Nine in 10 UK employers are struggling to find skilled workers. David Willett, corporate director at The Open University, said uncertainty caused by Brexit was further deepening problems for companies looking to recruit because employees are choosing the safety of their existing role rather than entering the jobs market for a move.

“Essentially, we have a supply and demand issue, which is seeing employers pay more to recruit or plug gaps with temporary workers - at a total cost of £6.3bn,” he said.

“But this approach is treating the symptoms rather than the illness; the reason business leaders are forced to spend so much is down to the fundamental lack of high-level skills. 

“Organisations need to take a more sustainable, long-term approach, building talent through training rather than buying it in.”

Resource Planning will be key in a post-Brexit Britain. Availability statuses of individual resources, internally as well as the wider market, should take centre stage - we can no longer rely on traditional hiring methods.

How will your business overcome the Brexit skills gap?