In 2013 the UK Commission’s Employer Skills Survey was undertaken for the second time, the first being in 2011. The surveys were carried out throughout the UK which enables analysis to be undertaken for the UK as a whole and between the four nations. In addition data is available for local authority areas. A large number of datasets were produced from the survey, a few of which have been picked out here to look at the picture locally. There were two elements to the Survey; the Core survey covered business strategy, recruitment, skills gaps, upskilling and high performance working and the Investment in Training follow-up survey which covered the investment establishments make in training their staff. For the Core survey a total of 91,279 interviews were undertaken, 75,255 of which were in England.
In Warwickshire 16% of all establishments had at least one vacancy and 6% had a vacancy that was hard to fill. The main implications of this were considered to be an increased workload for other staff (78%), increased operating costs (53%) and losing business or orders to competitors (48%). The main cause of a hard to fill vacancy was stated to be a low number of applicants with the required skills. The majority of employers said they overcome the difficulty in finding candidates by increasing advertising & recruitment spend and using new recruitment methods.
The survey also looked at how prepared 17-18 year olds were when they started work straight from school; 62% of work places said they were well prepared or very well prepared. The percentage rose to 78% for the same age group who had been to a further education college. Lack of skills were not cited as being a problem with young people starting work from either school or a college although 21% of employers thought that those who had come straight from school lacked experience of the working world/life and maturity compared to 12% who had been to college.
The survey also asked employers what they thought the implications of skills gaps were; 43% said it would lead to an increase in the workload for other staff and 20% said they would have higher operating costs. However, 53% said that none of the options offered would have an implication. The final dataset looked at here is what actions had been taken to overcome lack of proficiency amongst staff. Seventy six percent of employers said they would increase their training activity/spend or increase/expand their trainee programmes.
Further information about the survey and the full results can be found here.