CIPD Predicts UK Skills Shortage

CIPD Predicts UK Skills Shortage

25 April 2017

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new report from the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) has revealed that decades worth of chronic under-investment has led to an extreme skills shortage within the UK.

As a nation, we now lag well behind our international competition in basic areas of learning such as literacy and numeracy, learning and development and digital skills. We have, essentially, no solid foundation on which to build a new generation of global market negotiations.

The report, which is robustly named “From ‘inadequate’ to ‘outstanding’: Making the UK’s skills system world class”, clearly outlines several areas of failure within the various UK education systems and beyond.

The CIPD warns that the country will be consigned to a low-value, low skills economy. This will be absolutely unsustainable if we are to negotiate new trade deals and global contracts in the wake of Brexit. It also poses a threat in the sense that the UK may face restrictions on securing talent from overseas if new immigration rules are to accompany our departure from the European Union.

The report forms part of the CIPD’s response to the government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, which aimed to address the challenges facing the UK economy at present and in the future.

It highlighted repeated failures in the UK skills market, particularly amongst education and training for young people. Some of the issues that were raised include:

  • Out of 19 countries, the UK ranks bottom of the class on young peoples’ computer problem-solving skills
  • UK employers spend less on training than other major EU economies and less than the EU average, and the gap has widened since 2005. In 2010, the cost per employee was €266 in the UK, against €511 across the EU
  • The UK lies fourth from the bottom on the EU league table on participation in job-related adult learning, with evidence showing a marked deterioration since 2007

These statistics are fairly damning as the UK seeks to establish itself as something of a hub for technological and scientific developments, as well as traditional industries such as manufacturing and engineering. Clearly, we are headed for a problematic skills shortage.

As part of this report, the CIPD outlined four key areas in which the government could address any potential problems. One of which is to reframe the Apprenticeship Levy as a simple Training Levy – giving workplaces more flexibility as to who can achieve further training and development.

They also call for skills to be put at the heart of the Industrial Strategy – with training, learning and good leadership directly correlative to productivity and profitability. In conjunction with this, the CIPD suggest that workplaces invest more in ongoing skills development for their employees.

The final ‘call to arms’ is for the government to make additional skills funding within the workplace a topmost priority. The CIPD believes that some government funding could be redirected from existing, related programmes of work and put towards training and development in the workplace.

The CIPD is a massive industry body that constantly provides information and learning tools with regards to opportunities to develop your career and fundamental changes to the HR sector.

If you would like to discuss a career in HR, or are looking to employ HR staff, I’d love to chat with you. Click here to see my details.




Written By Andy Brady


Andy, i have just read through you're email and i would agree regarding the skills shortage and the lack of investment and funding shortages within our industry. We have had a real issue over the last few years recruiting the right staff for our Contracting arm in Scotland. Over the last few years we have resisted the temptation to fill positions with unsuitable candidates whom most of the time expect to be paid above the market rates. We have looked at this problem within the whole Tarmac UK business and now take on people on the old fashioned apprenticeship schemes. This Works for us as we are starting to see some real benefits. The training is excellent and we put them through college and also further education for degree courses in some cases. I believe we where looking at 50 apprentices per year in the UK. We also still carry on the graduate programmes however there has been a reduction on the number year on year due to the success of our apprenticeship schemes. I hope the above helps. Kind Regards Martin Melvin Commercial Manager Scotland Tarmac National Contracting
Posted on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 14:22 by Martin Melvin

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