WEST Yorkshire has ‘endemic skills shortages’ for high-skilled jobs, according to a report this week.
A paper by West Yorkshire Combined Authority officers looking at skills in the area said there was a shortage of skilled workers in nursing, engineering and trades such as construction and electricity.
He went on to say there had been an ‘underinvestment’ in training by employers, but added that many lacked the basic literacy and numeracy skills needed to take the additional training first. place.
The report says those with level four or higher qualifications – the equivalent of a Higher National Certificate or the first year of an undergraduate degree – are below the national average, with “endemic skills shortages for technical and specialist professional roles.
He added: “Many people lack the basic literacy and numeracy skills that provide a foundation for further learning and progression. Proficiency in English is also an important issue.
“[There is a] need to increase the retention rate of graduates from regional tertiary institutions and colleges to increase access to higher level skills in the regional economy.
He also partly blamed companies for the problem, saying many had “underinvested” in skills and training because “few had a structured approach to managing their talent”.
“A significant proportion of workers lack the skills to do their jobs,” he said. “Some of the skills that need to be improved include management skills, basic digital skills, functional literacy and numeracy, and ‘soft’ interpersonal skills.
The shortages are said to affect more skilled positions such as nurses, engineers and digital professionals, as well as skilled trades such as construction, vehicles and electrical / electronics, and “appear likely to continue and could constitute a constraint for economic recovery”.
The shortage of freight drivers freight drivers was also mentioned, with employers facing “intense recruitment difficulties”. Much of this may prove to be a short-term effect as the economy readjusts, but there is evidence of longer-term structural problems in the labor market.
There would also be potential for labor shortages as the economy recovers, due to a lack of people learning new skills during the Covid-19 crisis.
It’s not all bad news, however, as the report also highlighted how higher-skilled jobs have helped spur recent job growth, which has occurred across a slew of employment fields.
He added there was a ‘high supply’ of workers with Level Two and Level Three qualifications – the equivalent of a GCSE pass mark and A levels – which many employers are looking for.
Leeds alone has also been described as ‘one of the fastest growing job markets in the North’.
The report will be discussed by WYCA’s Employment and Skills Committee on Monday, January 24.