Employer Skills Survey 2017 Report Published

The Department for Education has today released the Employer Skills Survey 2017 report. The UK Employer Skills Survey (ESS) is one of the largest business surveys in the world, based on survey responses from over 87,000 UK employers.

The survey and subsequent interviews took place between May-October 2017. The survey is the fourth in a series conducted biennially since 2011, the report compares previous results in order to analyse trends across a number of skills, recruitment and training areas.

Download the full report here

Key Findings Include:

  • There was a reported growth in the number of vacancies that business had at the time of the survey with 1 in 5 business advertising a vacancy equating to just over 1 million vacancies
  • 67% of hard to fill vacancies caused, at least in part by a lack of candidates with the right skills, qualifications and experience
  • Employers were most likely to experience Skills Shortage Vacancies in trade roles such as chefs, electricians and vehicle technicians
  • 2.5 million workers believed to be underutilised (having qualifications and skills higher than is needed for their role)
  • There was an improvement recorded in the number of staff lacking the skills to their job
  • Technical and practical skills such as digital, analytical and job-specific technical skills and people and personal skills such as self-management, management & leadership, sales & customer handling skills were the biggest reported skills gaps
  • Across the UK, six in ten employers (63%) expect that at least some of their staff will need to acquire new skills or knowledge over the next twelve months
  • The employer spend on training has remained largely consistent with previous years, despite the introduction of new government policies such as the apprenticeship levy
  • The number of staff being trained to nationally recognised standards has fallen since 2015 and employees are receiving fewer days of training on average

Skills lacking among staff with skills gaps

Four skills challenges that could constrain the UK from realising its full economic potential over the coming years;

Youth Employment UK View

This report highlights a number of challenges faced by UK businesses; not being able to recruit the right candidates and not having existing staff with the right skills to meet the business needs are just two of them.

At the time of the report there were over 1 million vacancies reported, and yet we have nearly 800,000 young people who are not in employment, education or training.

It is clear that we have not yet fixed the gaps between education and employment, nor addressed the systemic issues of youth unemployment.  The Government has and is investing in T-Level, Apprenticeship and Careers Education reforms which may address some of these challenges, but the impact is not being felt today.

Young people are still reporting to us that they do not feel confident in their skills for work nor do they understand what careers are available to them. This has been a constant picture since we opened our doors in 2012, and an issue that existed well before then. At what point will all young people feel that they can smoothly and confidently transition between education and employment?

Employers have a key role to play in bridging the gaps, investing in early careers, recruitment and training of young people will help to manage some of the short and long-term skills needs.

Its important that businesses understand how to engage and support young people in a way that nurtures a diverse and inclusive range of young talented people. The benefits of having a high quality youth employment strategy are many, not just addressing skills gaps but reducing recruitment and retention costs.

Next Steps

  • Find out how the Young Professional can support the skills development of young people
  • Find out how Youth Employment UK can support organisations to develop, enhance or be recognised for their good youth employment practice

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For more information, please email info@youthemployment.org.uk or call 01536 513388.

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