Home Business News Half of London firms still struggling to recruit

Half of London firms still struggling to recruit

by LLB staff reporter
27th Mar 24 7:11 am

Firms across London are set to up their investment in training this year as they face significant skills gaps within the capital’s workforce, with many still struggling to recruit.

That’s according to the latest figures from leading campaign group BusinessLDN.

Its survey of over 1,200 London business leaders and HR Managers by Survation finds that the vast majority (80%) have open job vacancies (up from 77% last year) versus around a fifth (19%) who report having no vacancies (down from 21% in 2023).

Although there are signs that the labour market is loosening since last year’s survey, half of respondents (49%) are still struggling to fill vacancies (down from 65% last year). The same proportion report no issues with recruitment.

Most firms (62%) say they have the skills and capabilities within their existing workforce to meet business needs – a broadly similar picture to last year – though more than a third (38%) report skills and capacity gaps (up slightly from 34% in 2023).

The latter is driving an increase in investment in training among close to three-quarters (73%) of firms over the coming year (up from 64% last year) versus 22% who expect to maintain current levels of investment in training – only 3% are planning a decrease.

The findings come a year on from BusinessLDN joining forces with the other employer groups in the capital – the Federation of Small Businesses London, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and CBI London – to deliver London’s Local Skills Improvement Plan, a comprehensive plan for better matching the skills businesses need with those being delivered by the education system.

BusinessLDN Policy Delivery Director for skills Mark Hilton said: “Although the picture has improved since last year, far too many businesses across the capital are still being held back by chronic skills shortages.

“The good news is that firms are investing in training and upskilling their existing workforce, but further action is needed to enable them to access the skills they need to grow the economy.

“That’s why we’re calling for a dedicated London Careers service to act as a one-stop shop for jobseekers of all ages, as well as greater collaboration between business and education providers to co-design courses, particularly more bite-sized modular training.”

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