Over half of UK employers fear they will face a skills shortage in the years ahead, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Their survey, which was based on 310 businesses employing 1.2 million people across the UK, highlighted that two thirds of firms are expected to need more highly skilled members of staff in the next few years.

Katja Hall, the CBI Deputy Director General, said that firms are facing a skills emergency right now and that it must be tackled.

Over half of those firms surveyed noted they fear they will be unable to find the right number of staff with enough skills in the required areas.

Is the Government tackling the shortage?

In the recent Budget the UK Government announced that they will provide large employers with the funding they need to supply apprenticeships.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said that by developing the skills of younger people, businesses will have the chance to enhance their productivity.

The boost in funding and an increase in the number of graduates with degrees in construction, science, engineering, manufacturing and technology, means there is potential for any skills shortage to be short-lived.

Improved careers advice

The CBI survey also highlighted that employers felt that career advice should be improved for young graduates in order to ensure they have a better understanding of jobs that are currently available.

John Cridland, the CBI Director General, noted that youngsters simply can’t decide on what type of work they would like to do without understanding exactly what is available in the job market.

Moreover, an additional study conducted by the education firm Pearson found that the STEM sector is struggling the most with a skills shortage.

However, with more graduates leaving the confines of university with a degree in a STEM subject, they could prove to be the answer to the UK’s skills shortage.

If you’re a graduate employer, speak to Discovery Graduates today about finding highly skilled graduates for your firm.