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Grant Thornton: Skills shortage epidemic threatens business

By Rob Starr, Content Manager, Big4.com

According to new research from the Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) Businesses around the world are reporting a skills shortage epidemic that is weighing on growth prospects,. The reported shortage of technical skills is as much an issue in developed as emerging economies. It is cited by 61% of the BRIC businesses and 65% of their peers in the G7. A lack of both work experience (56%) and qualifications (54%) are also mentioned. One in four business leaders (21%) cite restrictions on immigration.

Paul Raleigh, Global leader of growth at Grant Thornton International, comments: : “With unemployment running so high in many mature economies, it is somewhat ironic that business leaders are concerned by a lack of skills. In the short-term they will need to plug these skills gaps with people from outside the organisation as best they can. But in the longer-term they need to invest in their internal training programmes to mould the people that will help them deliver on strategy, innovate and ultimately grow.

“A business is nothing without its people. A great team with an average plan will be far more successful than an average team with a great plan. The best people increase productivity, save an organisation time and money and ultimately grow the business. So in the long-term, business leaders need to be confident that their own training programmes will be able to deliver talent sustainably.”

The Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) provides insight into the views and expectations of more than 12,500 businesses per year across 44 economies.

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