by Sean McGrath on April 30, 2013

posted on boyce recruitment updates,

Business leaders say skills gap is hampering business

Business leaders are calling on the government to implement initiatives that help to foster a skilled workforce, according to a new report.

A PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey of over 1,300 CEOs found that nearly two-thirds said that a lack of key skills was hampering their growth.

UK business leaders were more concerned than any other Western European nation, rating it as the number one threat to growth.

According to onrec.com, three out of four UK CEOs said creating a skilled workforce should be the government’s top priority.

Ironically, this was in contrast to the leaders’ own priorities, with only one-third saying that filling skills gaps was an internal priority over the next year. Cipd.co.uk said that it seemed to be a longer term goal for the CEOs with 70 per cent saying that they planned to ‘upskill’ employees over the next three years.

Research from the Higher Education Career Services Unit found that number of graduate jobs in London were still on an upward trend, adding weight to the argument that CEOs are looking for the right calibre of staff.

Laura Hinton of PwC said: “UK businesses are struggling with a widening mismatch between the skills of their workforce and the skills they need to achieve strong growth.”

“There needs to be a joint approach to addressing the problem, with business and government working together to plug the skills gap,” she added.

The research also found that 45 per cent of CEOs plan to hire this year, which outweighed the number planning on making cuts.