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Skills biggest concern for UK CEOs

More than four in five (84%) UK CEOs are concerned about the availability of key skills in the workforce, according to the 2015 Global CEO Survey by PwC.

This concern about skills has risen considerably from 64% in 2014. Skills are also a bigger headache for UK CEOs than their global peers, with 73% of CEOs globally concerned about skills. 

Two-thirds of UK CEOs (67%) believe that creating a skilled and adaptable workforce should be a priority of government, but only a quarter (26%) think the government has achieved this. 

Ian Powell, chairman and senior partner at PwC UK, said: “A keen focus for UK CEOs is how the country develops the right skills to compete globally.  

“Our survey again highlights the pressing need for the government, business and education sectors to work together to enable the UK to prosper in the long term. There has been good progress with apprenticeship schemes, but we need to build on this success to ensure that skills and opportunities are matched.”

The survey also drew attention to the impact of digital trends on business. Almost three in five (59%) UK CEOs are concerned by the speed of technological change, up from 55% last year.

And 33% believe that a potential competitor to their business is emerging or could emerge from the technology industry.