Brexit concerns highlights Britain’s shrinking talent pool

IT skills
IT skills

With Brexit less than a month away, more than 70% of British business leaders are worried about the UK’s shrinking talent pool.

A lack of IT, data and digital skills are at the forefront of their minds as they look to successfully compete in a post Brexit world.

A third of senior business professionals agree that IT skills will be the most important over the next 20 years but worryingly, new research by Arch Apprentices highlights that 40% are concerned about accessing that IT talent when we exit the EU.

To coincide with National Apprenticeship Week, Arch Apprentices is calling on the UK’s HR professionals and senior business professionals with hiring responsibilities to develop their own talent pool to ensure that we can compete in a global market.

The research, however, shows that over half of those responsible for recruitment have not taken advantage of the apprenticeship levy to overcome the potential skills shortage, despite over a third (38%) saying that apprenticeships are a good solution for sourcing new talent within their business.

Jason Moss, Chief Executive of Arch Apprentices says: “Despite the fact that people think apprenticeships are a great solution to overcome any skills gap, it’s worrying that so few employers have taken up the levy to ensure that their business is fit for purpose at such a competitive and uncertain time.

“Given that the levy has been in existence for two years it’s shocking that over a quarter of businesses claim that they do not know how to apply for it and 17 per cent believe that the application process is simply too time consuming.

“Our research shows that business leaders believe that universities (88%) and schools (85%) need to be doing more to train the next generation of talent with the skills that companies want, but with funding through the levy they could be successfully re-skilling or up-skilling their current workforce. If we wait for the next generation of talent, the UK will simply fall behind so we urge the 50% of businesses yet to take advantage of the levy to act now.”

Despite concerns around the digital skills gap (83%), the new research says that 88% of HR professionals believe that apprenticeships are one of the best solutions to the skills shortage in their business.