Skills shortage driving slowdown, hurting growth globally: Grant Thornton

Severe skill shortage

Businesses around the world are reporting severe skill shortage which in turn is weighing on their growth prospects, says a report.

According to the Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR), 39 per cent of businesses around the world are struggling to recruit right people, and as much as 64 per cent cited lack of technical skills as the primary problem.

"With rampant unemployment in many mature economies; it is rather ironic that business leaders are concerned by lack of skills, but that is the fact today. In the short-term businesses will need to plug these skills gaps with people from outside the organisation as best they can," Grant Thornton in India National Staff Partner Vinamra Shastri said.

The talent crunch is dampening the growth prospects of businesses around the world, it said.

In India it takes about an average of 96 days for an organisation to recruit skilled workers.

The primary challenge faced by as many as 76 per cent of Indian businesses is the shortage of technical or specific skills.

Other challenges are shortage of general employability skills such as team work, communications faced by 65 per cent of businesses followed by lack of applicants and required work experience faced by 61 per cent businesses respectively.

Shastri further noted that "in the long term they (businesses) need to invest in their internal training programmes to mould the people that will help them deliver on strategy, innovate and ultimately grow."

The reported shortage of technical skills is as much an issue in developed as emerging economies.

It is cited by 61 per cent of the BRIC businesses and 65 per cent of their peers in the G7. A lack of both work experience and qualifications are also mentioned.

The impact of these workforce issues on business growth prospects is evident: the IBR reveals that more than one in four businesses (28 per cent) expects their 2013 expansion plans to suffer as a result of skills shortages, rising to more than one in three in the BRIC economies (36 per cent).

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