Recruiting skilled staff ‘biggest challenge’ for SMEs

Finding skilled staff has become the biggest challenge for business owners, up from third place in 2015, according to a report by Albion Ventures,

This pressing challenge comes as half of small businesses with over five employees are planning to grow their headcount in the next 24 months.

SMEs in the manufacturing industry reported the highest level of concern finding skilled staff, with construction businesses in third place. Finding unskilled staff as fallen to 15th place in the list of SME challenges.

The skills shortage is most acute  for London-based small firms, followed by the South East and the North West.

Top 4 biggest obstacles to growth for SMEs in 2016:

  1. Shortage of skilled staff
  2. Red tape
  3. Regulation
  4. Political uncertainty

Patrick Reeve, Managing Partner at Albion Ventures said: “A shortage of skilled staff shows that the growth pressures on the economy are at the most sophisticated end of the scale, which is precisely where we can expect to generate the biggest returns.  The economy is coming under capacity constraints at a time of considerable political uncertainty.

“Policymakers charged with deciding our post-Brexit future must recognise that many of the skills that enable us to compete in a fast-changing and increasingly competitive world are in short supply and our best chance of overcoming this challenge is by building on the UK’s first class reputation as a home for global talent.”

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