There is a skills gap across Wolverhampton - what can we do about it?

Across the UK there is a growing skills shortage. From engineers, digital experts, teachers and NHS healthcare professionals, to skilled trades people and hospitality/catering professionals, Wolverhampton’s businesses can only survive if they can recruit staff with the right skills to fill these types of role.

The UK skills shortage is estimated to cost UK organisations over £6 Billion/year

Why should ambitious businesses and organisations have to keep on paying out huge sums in recruitment fees, inflated salaries for part-time staff, and feel the need to hire in short-term, temporary workers just to get by?   This limits their spending power and stunts future growth opportunities. We should be encouraging things like work-based training initiatives, spreading the word about programmes that allow workers to earn while they learn (like Apprenticeships), encouraging employers to invest in staff training and internal development/promotion schemes etc.  

We also need to get better at making sure young people at the very start of their career journey, are made aware of the opportunities out there and connect with employers early on in the skills development process, so that they can be trained up.

There is much work to do in addressing the skills gap, but half the battle is recognising the problem.

Stuart Anderson is the Conservative parliamentary party candidate for Wolverhampton South West. A British Army veteran turned entrepreneur working extensively across the global security industry, Stuart has spent over a decade serving his community, pursuing positive change and supporting multiple charities and other good causes.