Earlier this month a number of articles pointed out a shortage of skilled workers in manual labour industries, opening up a discussion to whether immigrants are the solutions. In fact “business surveys suggest employers value international migrants because local candidates lack skills” . But there appears to be a paradox: unemployment has risen (albeit very slightly over the past 3 months) but around 5,000 vacancies have been posted. There is clearly a skill shortage. Luckily we haven’t been negatively effected by the skill shortage, but being in recruitment means we have seen develop over the past 5 years. Data from the Bank of England highlighted a similar picture. Their paper found that during July and August companies reported the highest recruitment difficulties since 2005.
It’s not only a skill shortage effecting employers but also a mismatch of skills. Too often internal recruiters rush to find candidates who fit into unspecific peg holes which leads to a mismatch of candidates skills to the skills required for the actual job. In 2013 the Employer Skills Service (ESS) recorded 15% of employers that felt their employees had a skill gaps for the job. It might be a small percentages but skilled employees will have to cover those with unmatched skills. Mismatched skills are likely to demotivate an individual and in turn effect the productivity of their team.
Most candidates are highly educated and skilled, it just appears to be a lack of basic technical skills that is the predominate problem. While apprenticeships have curbed this problem the UK are still playing catch up with the skill shortages.