According to EEF skills gap is a huge problem

Over 75% of manufacturing companies are struggling to find staff who possess the correct skills, with nearly half saying that the biggest concern for their business is recruitment, according to the EEF annual survey. The survey also showed although many manufacturers recruit apprentices the problem remains that so many young people simply aren’t aware of the opportunities that are available to them.

The staffing problems are mainly driven by both the candidates’ lack of experience and technical skills, as well as a general lack of applications being submitted for vacancies. This study from the manufacturer’s body was published on Monday and clearly indicates the serious gap in the market for suitable workers for the manufacturing sector, seen as a key player in the recovery of the economy.

Employers are doing their best in being proactive to try and address the skills gaps by forging links with schools and colleges, as well as increasing their investment in top quality apprenticeships and also pumping cash into the training of young people. The recruitment gaps remain however, as the survey of 200 companies has revealed.

This is particularly frustrating when you consider that the unemployment figure amongst the youth is still stubbornly high at over 20% and, according to the latest data, the overall jobless figure stands at 2.53m. 40% of employers also warned that access to government funding to help with training is no easier than 2 years ago, despite the fact the government claims to have simplified the system.

Tim Thomas in the head of employment at EEF, and he says that manufacturers are now taking the initiative in order to ensure that the skills gaps aren’t holding them back in their plans to both expand into new markets and develop new services and products.