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Skills shortage could provide contractors with new job opportunities

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Contractors could benefit greatly from the news that a skills shortage has been reported among mid-sized businesses in the UK.

The latest research, which has been conducted by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), surveyed 74,000 companies altogether and revealed that it was just mid-size firms reporting higher vacancies in key skilled positions, as they are struggling to find the right candidates.

It has been suggested by freelance experts that this could in fact benefit the self-employed with specialist skills, as they could find themselves being put forward to fill these main gaps.

According to the survey, it is the North West and West Midlands that are suffering the most, as more than 20 per cent of job vacancies in these areas are due to a lack of people with the adequate skills. Contractors with specialist skills in these particular areas could find themselves in demand as a result.

The sectors that were found to have the largest amount of shortages in skilled positions were local businesses, manufacturing and social and personal services.

Neil McLean, commissioner at the UKCES, commented on the current situation concerning the skills shortages, “There are worrying signs that the country is experiencing a skills ‘squeezed middle’, with core nucleus of hungry, medium-sized firms finding it difficult to employ staff with the skills they need.

“As a group, these mid-sized firms are weathering the recession pretty well – indeed, they have continued to recruit over the past four years. They are undoubtedly our best hope for growth. Yet these businesses are often overlooked by policy-makers in favour of entrepreneurial start-ups or huge multinationals.”

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