Shortage of skilled staff biggest obstacle for manufacturing SMEs

Skilled staff shortages are the most acute in manufacturing, technology and telecommunication sectors. That’s according to a new survey, which states finding skilled staff is the main challenge for 50% of […]

Register now!

By Jacqueline Echevarria

Skilled staff shortages are the most acute in manufacturing, technology and telecommunication sectors.

That’s according to a new survey, which states finding skilled staff is the main challenge for 50% of more than 1,000 small and medium businesses (SMEs) planning to grow their headcount in the next two years.

The technology sector is one of the industries with the biggest skills gap as reported by 26% of SMEs. It is the widest in Scotland, with 34% and London with 25%.

SMEs in the manufacturing industry reported the highest level of concern about finding skilled staff, followed by those in the technology and telecommunications industry, found investment firm Albion Ventures.

London-based small firms have identified the most skills shortage, followed by those in the South East and the North West, the report adds.

Political uncertainty and leaving the EU were ranked among other challenges.

Patrick Reeve, Managing Partner at Albion Ventures: “A shortage of skilled staff shows that the growth pressures on the economy are at the most sophisticated end of the scale, which is precisely where we can expect to generate the biggest returns. The economy is coming under capacity constraints at a time of considerable political uncertainty.

“Policymakers charged with deciding our post-Brexit future must recognise that many of the skills that enable us to compete in a fast-changing and increasingly competitive world are in short supply and our best chance of overcoming this challenge is by building on the UK’s first class reputation as a home for global talent.”