Bosses call for action to tackle the skills deficit

MANY Yorkshire firms are struggling to hire managers with the right leadership skills, according to a new survey.

Many bosses in the Leeds city region are worried about the skills deficit Picture by Simon Hulme
Many bosses in the Leeds city region are worried about the skills deficit Picture by Simon Hulme

Almost a fifth of businesses in Leeds City Region that have reported skills gaps said that their managers are affected, according to a report by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

At 18 per cent, the leadership and management skills gap is slightly better than the national average of 20 per cent.

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The Leeds City Region Labour Market Report 2018 is calling for action to close the skills gap and make firms more competitive.

Joanna Robinson, LEP board member and managing director of Mansfield Pollard & Co, said: “It is notable in the report that a significant proportion of employers who report skills gaps say that management level staff are affected.

“This has clear implications for wider business performance and productivity.

“The main skill gaps businesses are reporting are in core management skills, complex problem solving skills, as well as softer operational skills such as time management, team working, customer handling skills and persuading and influencing others.

“It’s great to see in the report the estimate that employers in the City Region invest close to £2bn a year on workforce development.

“It’s also clear though that more needs to be done to support businesses – especially SMEs – to make the case for training as a business investment that will deliver returns in the form of improved performance for organisations as well as for the region.

“I would encourage business leaders to take time out and focus on their own development: if you are not at the top of your game, your business won’t be either.

“We can always improve as leaders and managers so don’t be afraid to reach out for help – whether by seeking out the advice of other business leaders, or taking advantage of the support that’s available through organisations like the LEP.”

A range of support is available to help businesses grow and become more productive. They can be accessed through the LEP’s Growth Service, a one-stop-shop to help businesses find the appropriate support.