Half of employers upskilling workforce in response to hiring challenges, survey finds

As the majority struggle to fill vacancies, two in five businesses also report being more open to negotiating training benefits than last year

Credit: Katleho Seisa/Getty Images

Half (50 per cent) of employers are offering training to upskill their employees in light of current hiring challenges, a survey has revealed. 

The study found that in response to recruitment challenges and skills gaps, a third (33 per cent) were offering an apprenticeship programme and a quarter (26 per cent) were offering bursaries and scholarships in underskilled areas of the business. 

The survey of 501 UK employers by Remote found that the majority (82 per cent) had been impacted by the ‘Great Resignation’ in the past year, and 92 per cent struggled to fill job roles. As a result, more than two in five (43 per cent) said they would be more open than last year to negotiating training benefits as part of their attraction and retention strategy. 

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Jon Ingham, director at Strategic HR Academy, said organisations broadening out their resourcing activities were on the right track, and that “upskilling the existing workforce often provides a more effective basis for developing organisation capabilities”.

He added that most companies and individuals were “not engaging in anything like the amount of development that we should all be doing today – including within HR”, and advised organisations to look at “injecting more learning into the flow of work and providing deeper development experiences” by creating new challenges in people’s job roles that will facilitate “better, ongoing learning opportunities”.

The study also found that half (50 per cent) of employers were willing to negotiate flexible working policies to address hiring challenges, and a third (33 per cent) were now hiring internationally.

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Julie Grabham, director and owner of JG HR Solutions, said she had seen an increase in organisations reviewing their strategic plans and assessing any potential skills gaps that may occur. “Potential solutions to skills gaps include a complete restructure of the organisation’s career planning for existing employees and an overhaul of employee benefits to attract and retain employees,” said Grabham. 

She added that, in the current market, employers should be “offering a realistic package and not just looking at salaries”, and should look at what individuals need over a one-size-fits-all approach. 

Meanwhile, the survey also found that a quarter (26 per cent) struggled to fill an HR role specifically, while two in five (42 per cent) fintech businesses reported challenges in recruiting people professionals. This was against previous People Management reporting, which revealed that, despite a drop in the labour market, HR roles remained in demand.