UK employers are under increasing pressure as skills shortages across the country have become more acute for the fourth consecutive year, according to a new report.
The Hays Global Skills Index 2015, published by recruitment company Hays in collaboration with Oxford Economics, has revealed that since 2012 the skills gap has widened, with the UK scoring 9.7 out of 10 - among the worst in Europe.
The report highlights the need for businesses in the UK and worldwide to work together with their governments in order to find a long-term solution to talent shortages and waning productivity.
It also showed that wage pressure in the UK has seen a rise since last year, alluding to the competition for talent between industries such as engineering and technology, which is leaving companies with no choice but to pay more for the best people.
Alistair Cox, chief executive of Hays, said: "This year's report offers grounds for optimism but none for complacency. UK growth prospects are better than they have been in a long time, but employers are facing ever-greater challenges to find the talent they need. This can only mean that the productivity challenges we face as a nation will become even more severe."
"We need to resolve the UK's productivity puzzle and the current skills gap is clearly a big part of the problem. The answer does not lie in working longer hours, but in developing and using the right skills for the job. Better training for UK workers, attracting highly-skilled workers from overseas and investing in better technology are all part of the solution and will be critical in shifting the economy into the next gear."
As well as in the UK, wage pressure also increased in 21 of the 31 countries examined by the report. The aftermath of the financial crisis - in particular, the employment gap - is also still present in certain areas around the world, with labour markets struggling to rise from it.
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