Board relaunch to try to cut skills shortfall

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concern that a lack of skills is holding back business growth has prompted the relaunch of a board to tackle the crisis.

The Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce is taking the action after a report highlighted the skills gap which it says is having a negative effect on business confidence and profits.

A study by the Chamber in partnership with Leeds University Business School revealed that 40 per cent of recruiting businesses are experiencing difficulties finding suitably skilled staff.

It showed that profitability confidence amongst these businesses is 22 per cent weaker compared to those not facing skills shortages.

The majority of the skills shortages are found by firms looking to fill skilled manual and technical and professional and managerial vacancies.

The Leeds Skills Board will provide private sector-led solutions to make sure that skills requirements are delivered by local learning providers.

The Chamber is looking to recruit members to the board from manufacturing, retail, digital and creative, financial services, health and social care, transport and logistics, and construction.

Mark Goldstone, head of business representation at the Chamber, said: “Leeds is one of Europe’s leading business destinations, yet the city faces significant challenges around delivering an appropriately educated and skilled workforce.

“Unemployment is still at high levels, but employers are struggling to find the right calibre of candidates and this is now directly impacting upon business confidence and profitability.

“We need to ensure that all individuals have the right skills to achieve meaningful employment.”

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