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The post-Covid era has seen the fastest changing labour market in more than two decades and despite some sectors showing signs of easing, we’re still in a fierce job market.

Businesses in the UK continue to be challenged and skills gaps are top of the agenda. There is a widening disparity between the skills which employers need and those available in the workforce.

Reed Talent Solutions set out to examine the extent of the current situation by conducting two extensive surveys.

The first was of 1,000 hiring managers, and the second of 1,000 unemployed adults either actively looking for work, or not actively looking for work - but not unemployed due to ill health.

Key findings included:

  • Almost 80% of hiring managers believe there is a significant gap between the skills held by their workforce and those needed to meet their business goals

  • A quarter of unemployed adults (27%) feel they do not have the right skills to enter the workplace

  • 73% of hiring managers believe their business is currently finding it more challenging to recruit now compared to previous years

  • 77% of hiring managers said it was either very or somewhat likely that a lack of access to workers equipped with the skill sets they need will restrict growth within their businesses in the next three years

  • 91% of unemployed people actively looking for work said they were very much or somewhat struggling to find a job, with 79% of those saying they did not think they had either the right skills or the right qualifications to get one

Our report based on these findings, and including expert commentary from Reed Talent Solutions’ Solutions Director, Louise Reed, looks at important topics within this field including:

  • How skills shortages are preventing businesses reaching growth potential

  • Why it is getting harder to recruit people with the right skills

  • The gap between workforce skills and business objectives

  • How an untapped workforce is looking to return to work

  • How unemployed adults feel they lack the right skills to return to work

  • What the answer to the skills shortage is

  • What Reed Talent Solutions’ recruit, train, deploy solution is and how it can help

Download our report, ‘The Great Unlocking: harnessing the hidden workforce’ by clicking the button at the top of this page.