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19 June 2000

19 June 2000
Shortage in skills knocks companies

MORE than half of British businesses are suffering from a shortage of skilled employees according to a survey by venture capitalist group 3i.
The problem is greatest in the south of England, where two-thirds of 3i-backed independent businesses complained of a skill shortage. In contrast, only around a third of businesses in the Midlands had the same complaint, a marked improvement over the 1998 survey, when the Midlands was the worst hit region.
Around half those surveyed in Britain rated the education system "satisfactory". The survey found that companies adopted a range of solutions to deal with skills shortages. The most popular was to increase training, while many companies also opted to raise pay levels in order to retain skilled employees.
Jonathan Russell, 3i's director of transactions, said: "This is an excellent way of increasing the potential of people as well as the value of the business." The strength of sterling was also identified as a major problem for businesses.
Some 26pc of manufacturing businesses surveyed identified it as their biggest single problem.

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