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Skills Shortages Increase Need for Training


Employers are recruiting less experienced staff and training on the job due to continuing skills shortages, according to a study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

The latest Annual Recruitment, Retention and Turnover Survey of 715 UK employers found that 85% had experienced recruitment difficulties in the last year.

As a result of these shortages, 68% of employers said they had to appoint someone in the last year who didn’t have all the skills and experience required to do the job, but who had the potential to grow into the role.

Rebecca Clake Recruitment and Retention Adviser at the CIPD said that the approach was sensible, but not without challenges. "Many employers are sensibly recruiting people who are not quite the finished article, but who they see as having future potential. This means an ongoing challenge for line managers and training and development managers in ensuring the current high intake of employees with development needs go on to make a full contribution to their organisation."

Leadership was a particular shortage, with nearly a quarter of employers reporting most difficulty recruiting to senior management or director level vacancies – rising to 27% in the private sector – indicating a shortage of leadership talent.

But the category of vacancy causing the biggest recruitment headaches for employers was management and professional vacancies – 45% of employers said this was one of the categories of vacancy they were finding most difficult to fill.

Clake said that the shortages emphasised the need for leadership development and good succession planning.

"It is dangerous to assume that senior talent can just be bought in when it is needed," she added. "Clear, long-term strategies for identifying the leaders of the future are the best ways of ensuring that UK organisations continue to thrive in the future."

The survey also showed growing recruitment difficulties in the private sector, while the public sector’s difficulties ease. Both remain high, however, with 85% of private and 83% of public employers reporting recruitment difficulties over the past year.

Migrant labour is also being used to ease recruitment pressures. Nearly two fifths (38%) of employers have recruited non-UK residents to fill vacancies in the last year – rising to 44% of employers in the public sector.


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