UK businesses and universities are today voicing serious concerns about the chronic skills shortages in the UK, in response to new data published.

The Department for Education has published the latest results of the Employer Skills Survey (ESS) 2022, which has shown an increase in vacancies and skills gaps over the past 12 months.

Commenting on the survey, Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of NCUB said: “New data published by the Department for Education today hammers home the stark skills challenge facing the nation. We now know that a third of all vacancies in 2022 were skills shortage vacancies – up from 22% in 2017. This is hugely concerning – and what’s more, this worrying pattern has been consistent for many years. Employers have been reporting large numbers of hard-to-fill vacancies at professional level, from nursing to teaching, to engineering and software development.”

Marshall concluded: “We are calling on the Government to embrace its critical coordination role on skills. We simply cannot wait for the skills crisis to worsen before acknowledging it. We need rapid and co-ordinated action now, to improve the understanding of employer’s skills needs and to match these against the work of education suppliers. The Government has a key and irreplaceable role to play in brokering this collaboration. Reform now, before it’s too late, to allow universities to produce the highly-skilled, adaptable workforce businesses need.”