Responding to this month’s political manifestos, leading talent solutions provider, WilsonHCG, has warned that the absence of a focus on skills is concerning. Craig Sweeney, EVP at WilsonHCG, commented:

The details that have been published on the political manifestos this week are lacking the information around the skills agenda that the UK needs. There may be talk from each of the major parties to increase recruitment in core sectors, but the country is facing a growing shortage of talent, particularly in STEM remits. And while unemployment levels have hit a two-year high according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, this is will not ease the labour shortage.

“The core issue is that the workforce doesn’t have enough of the critical attributes that today’s businesses are after. With the nature of skills requirements also evolving at significant speed, this gap is only going to grow. Employers need to be supported in building the workforce of the future and creating sustainable talent pools. Doing so will require a step-change in traditional recruitment practices, including a move to skills-first hiring.

“We’re unlikely to see the impact of the General Election on the UK’s labour market until the tail-end of the year at the earliest, but without a clear commitment from any party to boost skills development, the onus is on businesses themselves.