North West firms warn of skills shortages ahead

Damian Waters from the CBI
Damian Waters from the CBI
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Businesses in the North West will create more jobs throughout 2019, but access to labour and skills is a major concern according to a new CBI/Pertemps Network Group report.

The annual employment trends survey – now in its twenty-first year – revealed that 44 per cent of more than 100 North West businesses that responded expect to grow their workforce in the year ahead, in line with the UK average of 45 per cent.

However, almost two-thirds of North West firms (63 per cent) say limited access to labour is a threat to competitiveness, while 84 per cent of the region’s firms reported they are struggling to access the skills they need.

Damian Waters, CBI North West regional director, said: “While the North West job market is in good health, these latest figures make clear that labour and skills shortages are already biting hard.

"There aren’t enough sufficiently skilled people to fill the number of job vacancies.

“While it is encouraging to see firms are investing in training their staff and helping them develop new skills, this investment alone is not the silver bullet that will meet all our needs.”