New report: The Business Barometer 2024

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The latest edition of an annual report published by The Open University, in partnership with the British Chambers of Commerce, has found that longstanding skill challenges remain which are hampering organisations in a number of ways.

A UK-wide employer survey of more than 1,300 employers, found that 62% of organisations are currently facing skills shortages. While this is down from 73% in 2023, the ongoing impacts are widespread. 

  • 64% say they are not confident about applying new AI and green technologies.
  • 68% of organisations with shortages acknowledge this increases workload on existing staff.

While many employers are responding by offering training and committing to expanding apprenticeship numbers, the report also reveals a lack of strategic planning when it comes to tackling the skills gap.

  • Only 19% say they have implemented a written skills plan for 2024, while 71% have not.
  • 63% of organisations do not have specific recruitment, retention, or training initiatives for targeted groups such as people with disabilities or younger workers.

The report concludes with a number of recommendations to help employers to tackle skills gaps and make the case for proactive investment in growing their own talent.

View the report’s methodology


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