Small firms just can’t get the staff

A shortage of skilled staff is causing strife for small businesses, with one in three firms struggling to recruit suitable workers.


A shortage of skilled staff is causing strife for small businesses, with one in three firms struggling to recruit suitable workers.

A shortage of skilled staff is causing strife for small businesses, with one in three firms struggling to recruit suitable workers.

As part of its pre-election manifesto, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) warns political candidates that businesses still cannot find enough employees with requisite technical skills, despite numerous Government task forces and initiatives dedicated to addressing the problem.

Suggesting that training is clearly the solution to this predicament, the organisation is proposing politicians provide a ‘sustained investment in skills to improve productivity’.

“Employees still lack the technical skills that businesses need,” contends Norman Mackel, the FSB’s education and training chairman. “A firm with five staff cannot release employees for lengthy periods so that they can attend long training courses at local colleges where much of the funding is directed. Courses need to be bite-sized and targeted at solving specific problems.”

The FSB is urging the political parties to provide funding for flexible packages so that training can take place in the workplace at convenient times. It is also calling for a commitment to enhanced funding for private learning providers that deliver the bespoke, work-based packages that small businesses need.

As part of its pre-election campaign the FSB is also calling for freedom from red tape, combating crime, and fairer and simpler taxes .

More information is available at www.fsb.org.uk. Click here to find out about a new IT training scheme soon to be available.

(5/4/05)

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