UK skills shortages will persist as government inaction continues, warns CBI

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Britain's workforce problems could persist for as long as two years, and still remain unchecked until the end of the employment protection system, the Confederation of British Industry director-general Tony Danker has warned.

We've got to find short term solutions in order to get the recovery going."" CBI director general Tony Danker.

The CBI warns that, though the shortage of lorry drivers "dominated the headlines" the challenge goes far beyond just engaging other highly skilled occupations, and coupled with the resulting disruption to supply chains, calls for more action as we approach the festive season.

The CBI said there is increasing evidence of staff shortages that further troubles businesses as they struggle to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

Director general Tony Danker said the challenge went further than the shortage of lorry drivers affecting the supply of goods to supermarkets, pubs and other shops.

He urged ministers to link skills policies to those for the most senior vacancies; introduce more flexibility to apprenticeships contracts; and use its "immigration levers" to reduce short-term pressures.

Gary Smith, general secretary of the GMB union, said: "We are paying the price for years of cost cut and austerity in workers" pay and terms of employment. Rather than mitigating the crisis in the labour market, there is a real risk a big cliff will stifle recovery before it begins. We need to learn the lessons of the past decade: no way out of this crisis; it is time to bring the United Kingdom's race to the ground in wages and conditions to an end."

Launching the latest jobs report from the CBI, he said: 'Shortages are biting right across the economy.'