Skills shortages prompt a long-term strategy for employers


Since the pandemic began, the jobs market has changed significantly and the effect of this is that the UK is experiencing significant recruitment and occupational role shortages.

The CIPD recently reported that four in ten (39%) employers have hard-to-fill vacancies. This trend has not actually altered from the previous year when it was reported at 36%. Together these suggest that the current skill shortage faced by the UK actually predates the pandemic.

This trend was confirmed by the recently published The Open University Business Barometer Report. It states that the UK skills shortage is costing organisations £6.3 billion and 91% of organisations have struggled to find the right staff with the right skills.
Employers believe the skills shortage to be worsening. The impact is that the recruitment process is taking longer and high recruitment fees, inflated salaries, temporary staff cover and new skills training for staff all result in additional costs to the business.

Hard-to-fill and skills shortage vacancies

When performance gaps are identified, unless the resource is found quickly, talented workers with in-demand skill sets are able to take advantage of their strong position. The net effect is that businesses are paying a too higher price to ensure they have the skills needed to remain productive.
It is difficult to deliver training for skills that are in short supply if what is needed has not been well defined. Research undertaken by the SkillsHub: MK has offered a number of initial themes and started to determine the types of high-demand skills increasingly important.

Linking skills development to the business needs

The SkillsHub: MK will shape these requirements and contribute to future-proofing the skills local people need for the world of work. In a future labour market that is automated, digital and dynamic, those looking for employment will benefit from having a skill set that will help them gain jobs.
The remit of the SkillsHub: MK is to develop a cross-sector high-level view of the learning and development needs of MK, and to discuss these issues so as to inform future training risks and skills gaps.

Fully funded incentive to overcome the skills shortage

This newly launched service, delivered by Milton Keynes College and its partners, is developing a portfolio of training that is research-based and addresses the issues.

This close involvement with the local SMEs will provide local businesses with a defined framework of essential business training.
The training courses developed so far as a response to MK businesses current issues through the SkillsHub: MK includes:

Getting to the heart of the skills shortage

– Business Development & Planning

– Leadership & Management Principles

– Systematic People Management

– Introduction to Digital Marketing for SMEs

– Creating Successful Digital Marketing content

– Using Google to grow your business

– Introduction to AI for SMEs

– Marketing 101s

The aim: for businesses to be better able to connect their own requirements with learning opportunities and to continue to invest in training and education for their staff.


SkillsHub: MK can advise on a wide range of solutions for leadership learning and development issues as well as bring digital knowledge and AI (Artificial Intelligence) expertise. There is an open invitation to all local businesses to get involved.

To find out more about the SkillsHub: MK or to discuss any business issues, visit