Labour shortages holding back growth

An annual Employment Trends Survey conducted by the CBI/Pertemps has revealed that three quarters of UK businesses have been hit by labour shortages during the past 12 months.  

The survey also found that almost half of firms facing labour shortages have been unable to meet output demands, while more than a third have made changes to or reduced the products or services they offer. Firms have responded to the shortages by investing in training to upskill current employees, increasing pay and improving their employee value proposition to help retain workers and attract new recruits.  

Respondents were also asked what measures government should prioritise to help ease the problem – 46% called for government incentives to help businesses invest in technology and automation to boost productivity, while 44% wanted temporary visas granted for roles in obvious short supply. 

Commenting on the survey’s findings, CBI Director for Skills & Inclusion Matthew Percival said, “It is crystal clear that labour market shortages are having a material impact on firms’ ability to operate at full capacity, let alone grow. Businesses are pulling every lever they can to attract and retain employees, but this is making productivity boosting investments like training and automation harder.”