Concern over shortage of skilled workers in Yorkshire

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More than half of businesses in the region fear they will not be able to recruit enough high-skilled workers to succeed in the future, according to a new report.

The 2015 Confederation of British Industry (CBI)/Pearson Education and Skills Survey - which included 85 firms which employ people in Yorkshire and the Humber - found 68 per cent need more highly skilled staff in key sectors such as engineering, construction and manufacturing.

But it also revealed 58 per cent are not confident that they will be able to find the high-level skilled workers needed to meet demand and grow. Businesses are already reporting problems in recruiting people with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills – with 24 per cent struggling to employ graduates with STEM skills.

Lucy Thornycroft, CBI regional director, said: “While the Yorkshire and Humber economy continues to make headway we must be on our guard as local growth risks being undermined by a shortage of the higher-level skills businesses need to get on, and the situation is only set to get worse.

“High-growth, high-value sectors, with the most potential are under the most pressure, like science, engineering, digital and manufacturing. We must make sure that our education and skills system is truly responsive to the needs of business and that young people receive much better careers advice.”

Employers believe introducing more apprenticeships are part of the answer and 63 per cent said they intend to expand their apprenticeship programme in the next three years.