UK facing skill shortage forcing more investment into L&D than recruitment

UK companies are focusing more on training its existing staff to deal with the skills shortage the country is facing, which has caused less money to be paid out to recruitment on a year on year basis.

A report conducted by the Open University (OU), its annual Business Barometer found that more than half (53 per cent) are taking a “grow your own” approach to talent and investing more in to Learning and Development (L&D) schemes. A huge 71 per cent feel this is the best way to deal with the skill shortage crisis.

Due to this, the amount paid on recruitment fell from £6.3 billion in 2018 to £4.4 billion in 2019. The majority (68 per cent) of employers are unable to find the right candidate that fit in to the role and so are turning away from recruitment.

Overall, 63 per cent of businesses are experiencing skill shortages, which is up one per cent from last year.

The findings also showed that businesses spent more than £1.1 billion training up staff who they took on despite not having the right skills or qualifications.

David Willett, corporate director at the OU, said:

By upskilling and retraining the current workforce, organisations will have all the skills they require, along with the knowledge and experience to drive them forward.

The report took in to account that at the moment the UK is going through a challenging time, with Brexit uncertainty. However, the OU feel that dealing with this skill shortage will help to overcome obstacles that may present themselves.

The report used a survey that asked 950 business leaders for their opinion on the skills shortage and how to overcome it.

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Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.