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OU report calculates the cost of the skills shortage to UK business

Business barometer

The Open University’s Business Development Unit (BDU) has been supporting our expertise and pedigree in work-based learning by producing some important thought leadership reports.

This is part of the OU’s increasing focus and success in working with employers to upskill and reskill staff.

The most recent report is The Open University Business Barometer 2019 which calculates the cost of the skills shortage to UK business, and promotes the OU’s work-based learning offering. Now in its third year, it analyses the impact of the skills shortage across different nations, regions and sectors and created significant media interest in both national and trade titles.

Using research and insight from senior business leaders, the report highlights the extent of the skills shortage, its impact on business, and what organisations expect to see in terms of talent in the workforce in the years to come.

Key findings:

  • More than two-thirds (68%) of employers have struggled to find the right skilled workers over the past 12 months
  • The skills gap cost organisations £4.4 billion, in recruitment fees, temporary staffing, increased salaries, and hiring at a lower level then bringing employees up to speed
  • Organisations report a 33 per cent increase in spending on recruitment fees, spending £1.6billion on this approach to attracting talent alone
  • Some employers are turning to more sustainable solutions, with more than half (53%) increasing training budgets – by an average of 10%

Download The Open University Business Barometer 2019

This is building on the success of recent reports into digital skills (Bridging the Digital Divide), the Apprenticeship Levy in England and barriers to the nursing profession.

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