London suffering skills shortage?

The latest London Business Survey for September 2014 has revealed there could be a skills shortage in the capital.

The survey, conducted by KPMG and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) questioned 115 employers during July 2014.

45% of respondents said they are suffering a skills shortage among their current employees. Skills particularly valued included communication, business and customer awareness, and leadership and management. Respondents also said that STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) as well as basic competencies such as literacy and numeracy are important for the capital's future.

Meanwhile 66% of those questioned claimed they are having difficulties recruiting for roles that require specialist skills. Some of these included IT (20%), creative (14%), finance (12%) and engineering (12%).

Lucy Haynes, CBI London Director, commented:

"Having the right skills to drive the capital's economy forward is a core ingredient in the recipe for continued success. It's important that businesses seize the opportunity to work with schools and colleges and ensure that London's students, who will build the capital's future, are equipped with the skills firms want in their employees."


Visa challenges

Another key finding of the study was that 56% of employers feel the UK visa system is a barrier to effective recruitment. Changes such as raising the cap on Tier 2 skilled work visas, improving service from UK immigration, and reforming the business visitor visa system were cited as having the potential to help businesses.

Richard Reid of KPMG commented, "easing the barriers of our complex visa system to ensure we attract the best global talent needed to compete on a world stage is now vital".

Attracting skilled workers to London businesses

62% of employers surveyed are aiming to increase employee headcount over the next six months. However, the survey results indicate they could have a fight on their hands for the most talented and highly skilled candidates.

Many large companies therefore enlist a reward manager, who specialises in creating competitive pay and benefits packages to attract professionals who may be in demand.

Meanwhile for businesses wanting to bring in overseas talent, a global mobility manager is essential, providing extensive knowledge of legislation and visa procedures.

For assistance filling these or any other roles in compensation, benefits and reward, contact Portfolio CBR on 020 7650 3190.

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