A survey carried out by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has revealed that small companies are experiencing skills shortages in both their workforce and their recruitment processes.
Of the 1,203 business owners who participated in the survey, 46% said that they lack a fully proficient workforce. This is something which naturally, is causing concerns for future productivity.
It was also found that almost a third (30%) who have recruited in the last 12 months have faced difficulty doing so thanks to the current skills shortage in the UK.
When asked which skills they consider to be the most important for future growth, businesses were most concerned with the following:
- technical (50%)
- communication (38%)
- self-management (32%)
The report also focused on the part that digitisation is playing on the ever-changing workforce. It was found that 26% of small and medium enterprises are not confident with their basic digital skills. What’s more, despite the fact that an increasing amount of business is now done online, a similar figure (25%), did not consider digital skills to be important to their business growth.
As outlined in the government’s Industrial Strategy white paper, a new national training scheme will aim to address these concerns with adult skills, including digital.
Mike Cherry, chairman of the FSB, commented:
“We know that embracing digital technology can help businesses in every sector to be more productive. Firms risk being left behind unless they have the skills to take advantage of technology to remain competitive and responsive to their customers.”