There are skills shortages across many of the disciplines ALLEN & YORK specialise in; Planning, Environmental Engineering, Renewable Energy and yet the wider talent pools of overseas candidates, people returning to work after a career break and workers with transferable skills, are not seen as being as attractive to employers. They should be!
According to recent surveys seven in ten employers have been affected by talent shortages and more than 94 per cent of professionals say they would consider changing careers for the right opportunity. So are there untapped talent pools that employers are missing out on?
The Employer Skills Survey (ESS) interviews more than 90,000 employers and reports every two years, with the latest data referring to 2013.
In that year, total vacancies had increased by 12% on 2011 and were back to pre-recession levels, but the proportion remaining unfilled because of a lack of candidates with the right skills, experience or qualifications had also increased from 16% to 22%. This is equivalent to 146,000 skills shortage vacancies.
Skills gaps in the UK have long been flagged as one of the key reasons for the UK’s “productivity gap” with other major Western economies and can hamper employers’ ability to response to customer needs and stay ahead of competitors.
“People returning to work after a career break is a large pool of talent that employers should be making more of, as well as looking at up-skilling for candidates with transferable skills. Employers are often looking for the perfect fit, which can lead to posts remaining unfilled to too long.” Paul Gosling, Executive Director at ALLEN & YORK
Unfilled vacancies lead to increased workload and stress for other employees. Where individuals are poorly matched to the skill requirements of their job, this can have significant impacts on job security, self-confidence, career progression and productivity for the employer.
“More progressive companies are approaching us to be more creative in our sourcing of candidates, to look (where possible) to international skilled professionals and being prepared to sponsor visa applications. In the future this will make a difference and these forward-thinking companies will have the march on their competitors.” Gosling comments.
This is a long-term challenge for employers, who need to widen their horizons to expand their potential talent pool for the future.