Skilled staff in demand as recruitment plans hit difficulties


Businesses in the East of England are facing difficulties when recruiting new skilled staff, according to the latest Business in Britain report from Lloyds Bank.

The research found that more than a third (37 per cent) of firms across the East of England have experienced difficulties when taking on new skilled staff over the past six months. This is marginally better than the national average 38 per cent.

More than two fifths (42 per cent) of the region’s firms anticipate having to raise money for their business in the next six months, with one in seven (14 per cent) planning to use the new funds to implement training programmes.

For some companies access to skills is critical to their future, with six per cent of firms in the East of England saying it is the greatest threat to their business.

A quarter (25 per cent) of the region’s companies said that improving access to the right skills through more vocational education should be a priority for the Government.

Gareth Oakley, Lloyds Banking Group’s Ambassador for the East of England, said: “Having access to the right skills is crucial for businesses in the East of England, and that’s why we are focused on developing local talent.

“Though our Education SME team and Schools to Work programme, we’ve been working closely with schools, colleges and universities across the region, offering mentoring and support to help boost the skills that employers are looking for.

“We’ve also been working with local businesses as they develop new training, carrying out digital and IT upskilling. Nearly one in two (45 per cent) of our employees in the region are Lloyds Bank Digital Champions, helping SMEs, charities and residents to improve their digital skills providing the much needed skills that businesses are looking for.

“Working with businesses and education providers across the region we’re confident we can develop local talent and help to address the recruitment challenges faced by firms.”

In the East of England, the Group’s efforts are focused on developing local talent, improving the digital and financial inclusion of businesses, charities and vulnerable members of society and supporting local business growth. Colleagues from across Lloyds Banking Group are working with schools, businesses and charities in the East of England to deliver mentoring and training, as well as support and funding for businesses.

The Business in Britain report, now in its 24th year, gathers the views of more than 1,500 UK companies, predominantly small to medium sized businesses, and tracks the overall “balance” of opinion on a range of important performance and confidence measures, weighing up the percentage of firms that are positive in outlook against those that are negative.