Employers ‘failing to make the most of workers’ skills’
BRITONS have a high-quality education and make for skilled young workers, but their abilities are too often put to poor use by employers, the World Economic Forum has warned.
The UK has tapped around 71pc of its available talent, the analysts estimate, putting the country 23rd out of the 130 countries measured.
But that means there is plenty more room to make the most of the skills and human resources available.
For instance, the UK has the eighth highest share of skilled workers in the world and ranks 10th for know-how, which looks at the use of specialised skills in the workplace. Britain also ranks 17th for preparing workers for the future and 11th in terms of a diverse graduate skills base.
But the country fails to use these skills fully – the UK ranks 51st in terms of making a return on the investment in education, as too many people of working age either do not work at all or are in jobs for which they are overqualified.
This is also a global problem and the WEF wants governments and employers to do more to fully utilise skills, and to train workers better for the available jobs. Employers across the world also have unreasonable expectations, the WEF has warned, because they look for “ready-made talent” instead of training workers to suit their jobs.
“While younger people are consistently better off than older generations when it comes to the initial investment in their education, their skills are not always deployed effectively and too many employers continue to look for ready-made talent,” the economists said, arguing that countries worldwide need to focus on life-long learning.
“The problem of under-deployment of skills among the young also affects those coming towards the end of their working life. Meanwhile, few among those currently in employment – across all age groups – are gaining access to higher-skilled work and opportunities to enhance know-how.”
A survey from the British Chambers of Commerce indicated that some companies are responding by training more workers. Its annual study found 48pc of UK firms faced skills or labour shortages in the past 12 months. Of those, 31pc spent more on training.
‘Skills are not always deployed effectively and too many employers look for ready-made talent’