Skills Gaps and Talent Drain are Growing Concerns for UK Workers

UK workers have become increasingly concerned about the threat of talent gaps and skills shortages, according to an extensive study of their views. A lack of recruitment, poor investment in training and development and a loss of skills to competitors and abroad were identified as the biggest influencing factors.

The findings – part of The Workforce View 2014/15, an annual barometer of the views and attitudes of UK workers and employers by ADP®, a leading global provider of Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions – suggest that many organisations are still recovering from cutbacks made in the recession and losing out in the race for top talent.

The report shows that 50 per cent of workers see talent gaps due to cuts and a lack of recruitment as a threat to their organisation, a significant leap from 2013 (37 per cent). A further 46 per cent believe talent gaps have come from a lack of investment in training and development.

Alongside the lack of employee training and consequential skills shortages, there are also growing concerns about long-standing staff leaving, with 38 per cent of those questioned seeing a drain to other organisations as a threat, up from 26 per cent last year. A further 29 per cent say the loss of talent overseas is a major worry, up from 18 per cent a year ago.

The attractiveness of international markets is particularly apparent in the IT sector; with 40 per cent of those questioned saying a talent drain to other countries is a threat to their organisation. Plus, it isn’t just talent leaving that is an issue, with more than half (53 per cent) of IT professionals saying an influx of overseas workers to the UK is also a threat.

Annabel Jones, HR Director at ADP UK, said: “Although the economy is strengthening and businesses are increasingly eager to develop and attract new talent, our findings show that many HR departments are being held back by a lack of investment in attracting and retaining talent.”

“With new opportunities on the rise, employees will undoubtedly start looking around for pastures new, so it’s crucial to dedicate time to motivating, engaging and rewarding them effectively, so they feel appreciated and challenged where they are.”

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