Small businesses struggle to find employees with the right skills » SMEInsider

Small businesses struggle to find employees with the right skills

Over two-thirds of business owners said people applying for positions at their companies do not have the required skills, and nearly half said applicants do not have the right work ethic, according to a study carried out by

The company surveyed 2000 small business owners about their thoughts on the current state of the British workforce and jobseekers.


It’s a struggle for most

Over three-quarters of business owners (77 per cent) surveyed said they find it difficult to find the right people for company positions, and four per cent said that this is a persistent problem. However, the remaining 23 per cent have said they never have trouble filling job vacancies.

Over a third (37 per cent) said the problem lay with not enough people applying, whilst 15 per cent preferred to hire people they knew.


Apprenticeships not an option for many

Surprisingly, despite many admitting they are struggling to fill positions, many businesses have ruled out taking on an apprentice. Over half of respondents (55 per cent) said there is currently a skills shortage, but just under 60 per cent of business owners said they have never hired an apprentice.

Lyndon Wood, CEO and founder, said: “Our findings show that despite many small businesses in the UK struggling to find the right skills for their companies they are still reluctant to take on apprentices.”

A third said taking on apprentices would be too much of an administrative burden, whilst four out of ten said they would leave the business once they were trained up.

However, 13 per cent said they are looking into schemes.


Social responsibility 

However, many business owners said it was important to take on apprentices. Over half (52 per cent) actually said they took on apprentices because it was important to teach younger generations and just under a quarter (22 per cent) praised apprentice schemes.

“Apprenticeship schemes aren’t just for building trades or hairdressers, these days apprentices can be in any sector. It is a great scheme that can help upskill your workforce and teach them about your business and industry,” added Wood.