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Three quarters of UK businesses struggle to find the right employees

A recent survey carried out detailed that 67% of business owners said applicants don’t have the right skills, 48% said job candidates don’t have the right work ethic, and 34% admitted that they hadn’t taken on an apprentice as the administrative burden was too much for them.
Constructaquote.com surveyed just under 2000 self-employed adults in the UK to find out how they felt about the workforce market place.

Respondents came from all sectors of small to medium enterprises, the majority of employing between 34%.

77% of respondents said they struggled to find the right people to work for them, with 4% saying this is always a problem. Yet 23% said they never had any trouble filling vacancies.

When asked why they struggled to find the right people, 37% said they didn’t have enough people applying for vacant posts, and 15% admitted they would rather take on people they know.

Although the Apprenticeship Scheme was established in the UK over 50 years ago, some SME business owners still don’t see taking on an apprentice as an option.

Despite 55% saying there is a skills shortage in their industry, only 28% of those surveyed said they had taken on an apprentice, with 59% saying that they hadn’t taken on an apprentice, although 13% were looking into the scheme.

Of those who hadn’t taken on an apprentice, 40% said apprentices only leave the business when they are trained up, and 34% said it was too much of an administrative burden to take on.

52% of businesses owners who had taken on an apprentice told constructaquote.com they had done so as they felt a responsibility to teach skills to youngsters, and 22% said they thought it was a great scheme.

Lyndon Wood, constructaquote.com CEO and founder, said: “Our findings show that despite many small businesses in the UK struggling to find the right skills for their companies they are still reluctant to take on apprentices.

“Apprenticeship schemes aren’t just for building trades or hairdressers, these days apprentices can be in any sector. It is a great scheme that can help upskill your workforce and teach them about your business and industry.

“On the job learning is the best way to get to grips with an industry, it’s what I did, and this year had the honour of celebrating 25 years in business. So, even though the paperwork to take on an apprentice may put many businesses off, I think they should look again at these schemes to add talent and loyalty to their workforce and ensure that the skills they have as a trade are kept alive.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Fiona Russell-Horne
Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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