Skills shortages industry wide have been a hot topic within the UK for a significant number of years. The reality is the UK will at some point not be able to provide the skills required to keep many industries going, this has become even more apparent following the Brexit referendum.

Skills shortages in construction for example are now considered a global risk which is likely to affect many organisations within the construction industry. In addition skills shortage are being viewed as one of the factors impeding growth in the industry with the reports stating “financial constraints, labour shortages and planning delays remain the key impediments to growth with 80%, 60% and 60% of surveyors reporting difficulties with each, respectively”(, 2018) ( Lwanga, P 2018), p4 EMBA573 Assignment).

The diagram below illustrates the regional skills demand by vacancies across the UK with a significant number of regions failing to fill the vacancies available due to the lack of skilled labour.

skills shortage by region

Linked closely to this is the lack of employability skills within the UK workforce. There are Key employability skills as stated by STEMNET, which are just not being taught, top employers in the UK fed into the list, highlighting the skills they see as the key employability skills they are seeking in their recruitment drives;
• Communication and Interpersonal Skills
• Problem Solving Skills
• Initiative / Self-Motivation
• Time management
• Organisational skills
• Teamworking
• Adaptability
• Numeracy
• Understanding Diversity
• Negotiation Skills

At Engage2Action we realised quite early on that this is not an issue that can be tackled independently, given the number of key stakeholders involved. To enable transformational change in the way employability skills are taught, we must collaborate with other likeminded charities and social enterprise organisations to ensure we get the traction needed and grow our influence as one voice.

Working together is the only way to bring about the change required, E2A will work closely with our peer group supporting the already established initiatives, whilst developing our innovative offering, which will help with both reach and implementation. As a community-based organisation this is paramount to our success.


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Having worked in a large corporate for many years, we understand what social value means to business, and whilst living the values of the businesses we got to work with local schools, mentoring and leading events to help the students understand what the world of work can look like for them, and what employability skills they will need.

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