British industry is still struggling to recruit staff, with manufacturing and hospitality firms the most badly hit.
According to a survey by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), productivity is suffering. More than half of all businesses (56 per cent) said that they are operating below full capacity, with the problem most widespread in hospitality (71 per cent).
BCC has now called on the Government to take action and look at solutions, including urgent reform of the Shortage Occupations List (SOL). The SOL relaxes UK immigration rules for work visas to make it easier for overseas workers with the required skills and experience to come to the UK.
The survey reveals firms’ recruitment struggles remain at record-high levels. The data for the BCC’s Quarterly Recruitment Outlook (QRO) for the third quarter of this year was drawn from a survey of more than 5,100 businesses, 92 per cent of whom were SMEs.
As well as encouraging reform of the Shortage Occupation List the BCC says the Government should:
- Encourage firms to look at maximising talent by investing more in training, adopting more flexible working practices and expanding the use of apprenticeships
- Provide training-related tax breaks
While the Government may be able to help in those areas, in the short-term employers could consider several options to improve staff recruitment and retention, including:
- Offering a career path with a defined goal
- Encouraging existing employees to refer people for posts
- Promoting a healthy lifestyle.
- Encouraging a work/life balance
- Being competitive
Check out the competition. Job seekers have plenty of choices and are likely to go for firms offering decent salaries, flexible working, perks and discounts and an attractive company culture.
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