Finding skilled staff is a real challenge for British exporters according to the latest Quarterly International Trade Outlook from DHL and the British Chambers of Commerce.
The survey found that more than two thirds (68%) of exporters reported difficulties hiring staff, in particular skilled and professional staff, during Q2 2015. This is the highest level since Q4 2013
Lack of access to staff with the right level of skills could become a real barrier to growth at a time when confidence among both services firms and manufacturers is increasing. As the volume of exports remains high, firms are increasingly confident that turnover and profitability will rise in the coming months, leading to a third of firms expecting to take on additional staff in the next three months as a result.
There is also a growing expectation of export sales increasing over the coming months. The balance of those expecting exports to rise stood at +24 for service firms and just +12 for manufacturing firms.
Phil Couchman, CEO, DHL Express UK, said:
"On this occasion there is also the clear message that as we continue to deliver on our commitment to growth, we cannot afford to lose focus on the people and skills that are paving the way for these strong results to continue.
"It is vital that we all, as employers and educators, continue to up-skill our workforce in the UK. Whether that’s through apprenticeships for young people, or further investing in the development of our existing employees, a commitment to bettering our workforce is essential in ensuring that the skills gap is plugged and the UK remains competitive on a global scale."