News

2 years ago

In a world of skill shortages, a country’s greatest resource is its people

Skill shortages

“A nation’s greatest resource is its people”. This quote rang true long before Obama made it famous. And as many industries in the UK are struggling with skill shortages, it’s more important than ever.

According to the Financial Times, Britain’s economy is the closest it has been to full employment since the early 1970s, with the unemployment rate around under 4%. It’s great news for workers, however, it’s making it more difficult for businesses to find the right workers. And, with Brexit looming in the distance, many employers are worried hiring the right staff may become even more difficult if there are new restrictions on EU immigration.

Worker shortages

But the fact remains, several sectors in the UK are facing worker shortages, including:

  • Hospitality
  • Information and communications
  • Construction
  • Health and social work
  • Leisure and other services
  • Transport and storage

These sectors provide some of society’s most important roles. In the hospitality sector, the shortage includes chefs, who are one of the most in-demand skilled trades in the UK.

Demographics

Part of the problem are demographics. About half of all workers are aged under 30. But with declining birth rates in the UK, there are fewer young workers entering the workforce each year. As well as specific skill shortages, the UK faces simple workforce shortages, which will worsen with decreased immigration, causing Brexit to be a high concern in these industries.

China abolished its one-child policy in 2013. Something that was supposed to be beneficial in slowing population growth has turned out to have negative impacts on the country’s economy. With only one child per couple, the low birth rate means the younger population is not big enough to support the huge number of people in the older generations and it poses a huge problem for economic growth in China’s future.

As such, Chinese policy-makers are trying to engineer a man-made baby boom, even providing cash incentives for parents to have more children. As of 2015, 98 countries are below the replacement birth rate. Japan and Russia, South Korea, Singapore, France, Australia, Canada, and Poland have all offered incentives for couples to have more children, some more successfully than others.

Without immigration, countries with declining birth rates will struggle to uphold a growing economy.

High birth rates

But there are some countries which still have high birth rates, often developing nations. What was once seen to be a problem in these countries could be a path to development as human resources become their main resource.

As education improves in these nations, more and more workers can migrate to fill the gaps in the workforce left in countries with skill gaps and worker shortages. This drives the economy in both the work country as well as in the home country from remittances.

However, increasing opposition to immigration in countries like the UK could stand in the way of economic growth and hinder the ability for British businesses to recruit the right people. There’s a clear solution to our skill-shortage problem; the question is, are we open to it?

Premier Recruitment Services focuses on helping businesses find the staff with the essential skills they need. It doesn’t matter if they’re from within the UK or outside. We’ve developed an expertise in the recruitment industry which allows us to help our clients navigate the changing recruitment market. If you need help building a strong workforce, contact us on 01782 213 116.

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