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Half of London businesses struggling to recruit skilled staff

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More than half (52%) of London businesses are struggling to recruit the skilled staff they need, according to research from the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).

According to the LCCI’s Capital 500 Survey, recruitment challenges due to skills shortages have risen by 7% since late 2014.

Almost half (49%) of businesses said they are struggling to hire skilled manual and technical staff and 42% are having trouble filling professional and managerial roles.

The research also found that businesses are not investing in training existing staff. Only 11% of companies increased staff training budgets in the past three months, with 8% decreasing their investment in training.

To tackle this, the LCCI is urging the government to reform apprenticeship funding for those over 19. Currently apprenticeships are only fully funded for those under 19. Apprenticeships for people aged 19- to 23-years-old are half-funded, and those for the over-24s receive no funding at all.

LCCI CEO Colin Stanbridge said: “In order to help businesses recruit the skilled workers they need, we urge government to extend funding for apprenticeships for 19- to 23-year-olds, to expand the availability of workers.”

Positive outlook

Despite skills shortages, the majority of London-based businesses are confident about growth, with 42% expecting UK economic growth to improve over the next year and 37% predicting an improvement in their business prospects over the same period.