STEM Skills Shortage Costs UK Businesses £1.5bn

Today, new findings from STEM Learning found the STEM skills shortage is costing UK businesses £1.5bn a year in recruitment, temporary staffing, inflated salaries and additional training.

The research also revealed that nine in 10 (89%) Stem businesses have found it difficult to hire staff with the required skills in the last 12 months, leading to a current shortfall of over 173,000 workers – an average of 10 unfilled roles per business. Matt Weston, Managing Director at Robert Half UK commented below.

Matt Weston, Managing Director at Robert Half UK:

“The UK is in the midst of a skills crisis. The impact on our economy is evident, but there remains no clear solution which means that the war for talent will only continue to intensify.

“One of the main issues is the pace of change. Changing skills requirements in modern day working practices means that companies are needing to employ a flexible recruitment strategy — hiring highly specialised talent on an interim basis to better support the business and fill skills gaps. Whether on a temporary, interim or contract basis, these workers bring greater flexibility, knowledge and insight, as well as facilitate growth to meet the demands of the current business environment.

“Technology is changing so rapidly that educational providers simply can’t keep up. As a result, businesses and government must help by developing courses and qualifications that are relevant to today’s digital-first workplace. They need to consider what can they do to give candidates real-world experience as well as address how they can encourage prospective students to undertake and then progress with STEM subjects. Businesses also need to provide current employees with the means to upskill and develop in work to help address this growing issue.”

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