Last week, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee launched an inquiry into the UK’s labour market as skills and worker shortages restrain the post-pandemic economic recovery. The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show there are currently more job vacancies than people to fill them. The UK’s recovery has been directly impacted by the ongoing skills crisis, as well as the effects of an aging population and changes in migration.
In the latest strand of the Committee’s broad Post-Pandemic Economic Growth inquiry, MPs will examine the challenges faced by workers and employers and what the Government and companies can do support the labour market. Key topics will include artificial intelligence (AI) and technology in the workplace, workers’ rights and protections, employment status and modern working practices and the impact of an ageing population on the labour market.
Alan Hiddleston, Senior Director, International Corporate Learning at D2L offers the following statement:
“The reskilling challenge in and of itself is nothing new, however, recent events have accelerated its key themes. The digital skills gaps and increased job automation witnessed in lockdown combined with Brexit and the mass exodus of overseas workers, have all contributed to a mass talent deficit. Whilst the government has introduced the Professional Qualifications Bill – which recognises employees’ overseas qualifications – to alleviate these pressures, job vacancies are at a record high, with over 2.7 million recorded back in November.
“Bridging the skills gap and addressing the recruitment shortage will be no easy feat. The future economy will not only be about developing skills, but ultimately, about changing attitudes, culture and behaviour – the way in which we deliver, and measure learning will need to be reviewed. Employees will need to be retrained quickly and efficiently and on a regular basis, with leaders identifying key target areas specific to their organisation. This will require clear communication and effective policy and strong partnerships between government, businesses and institutions.
“Reskilling will remain a constant feature of our entire working lives, employees must be able to re-enter the education system and attain new skills periodically. Likewise, colleges will have to update their courses accordingly to ensure students are better prepared to enter the job market. By working together, they can ensure that desirable skills are embedded within curriculum and delivered across all courses. Only then can we tackle this crisis and propel our economic recovery. Investing in talent now, will pay its dividends in the future.”