Reform needed to tackle staff shortages

Survey data published by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) shows that businesses remain under intense pressure to fill jobs, prompting the business group to call for government action to solve the issue. 

According to the BCC’s latest Quarterly Recruitment Outlook, six out of ten firms are currently looking to recruit more employees, with over three quarters of these facing difficulties in doing so. Both figures were broadly in line with those recorded in the previous quarter’s survey, leading the BCC to conclude that ‘record levels of recruitment difficulty are showing no signs of improvement’.

While the data suggests all sectors are facing recruitment issues, challenges were most acute within the construction industry where more than eight out of ten businesses reported difficulties. Firms in the production and manufacturing, logistics, and hospitality sectors also showed a relatively high propensity to be struggling to recruit skilled workers.

In response to the current environment, the BCC has written to the government outlining a three-point plan which it believes would help alleviate the situation. The plan focuses on encouraging firms to ‘find new ways of unlocking pools of talent’; help for employers to invest in training, and reform to the Shortage Occupation List.