Last updated: 21.10.11

UK facing significant skills shortage, expert warns

There is a significant skills shortage in the UK which could be improved through the implementation of e-learning.

A BBC podcast entitled On The Money housed a discussion about the lack of qualifications often gained by young people in the midst of today's economic downturn.

With continuing difficulties surrounding the job market and unemployment figures still on the rise, the speakers were keen to point out many factors contributing to the slump.

Declan Curry, presenter of the BBC On The Money podcast, asked why an abundance of skills and extra qualifications are so desirable.

Chief executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation Kevin Green said that differences in the public and private sector job market are clearly visible and that while many positions are being cut in public companies, the privately owned sector is still in a position to create jobs for the right prospective employee.

However, the number of jobs being created is not at a high enough level to make a significant difference to unemployment figures.

"In the last set of figures the reduction was 111,000 in the public sector. I think the private sector is doing all it can but with the current circumstances, it is finding it incredibly difficult to offset that deficit," Mr Green said.

He expressed his belief that skills shortages in parts of the economy are prevalent and that companies that need IT analysts, engineers, chefs, HR professionals and other staff are finding it hard to get the right people for the job because suitable skills are lacking.

Mr Green added: "The problem we do have in the current labour market is the people that we have that are unemployed don't potentially have [the needed] skills."

The Telegraph reported that the skills shortage has threatened to hinder Britain's economic recovery, with many trade industries looking to electronic manufacturing options to make up for the gap in the qualified worker market.