Tackling skills shortages

Tackling skills shortages: the five point plan

In 2018 Warwickshire County Council launched a campaign ‘Tackling Skills Shortages’ to address one of the major issues facing businesses at that time. The Economy and Skills team at WCC have always spent a lot of time out in the business community and they found ‘The Skills Gap’ was a reoccurring issue businesses were raising. To tackle the skills gap WCC created the Tackling Skills Shortages campaign to bring together a range of the support and advice that is available.

This included the ‘Five Point Plan’ to ensure businesses understood all the practical steps they could take to recruiting the right people for the job.

"An issue we are regularly told about by businesses is that of skills shortages and difficulties in recruitment," said David Ayton-Hill, Assistant Director of Communities. "That is why last year we funded the creation of a new post, a dedicated Business Skills Advisor, to help businesses identify where and how they can fill those gaps.
Fay Winterburn, as Business Skills Advisor, has already done a lot of great work and now our support for the business community has another new dimension with the launch of the Tackling Skills Shortages campaign. It outlines five practical steps that businesses can take to address that problem.
There is no quick fix to the overall skills issue but there are things which business can do. Working with the Mid-Warwickshire Employment Group, we have developed a five-point plan to provide practical ideas to businesses as to what they can do to help address skills shortages.
This will be complemented by a range of workshops and events to help provide examples and advice as to what steps and activities can be undertaken, along with good practice examples.”

In summary, the five key areas of focus are:

  1. GET INVOLVED: Sign up to our Business Skills Support Programme. Our dedicated Business Skills Advisor will undertake a free Skills Assessment for your business and help develop your bespoke skills strategy, tailored to your specific needs and issues. 
  1. UPSKILL & DEVELOP: A great starting point is to look at your existing workforce and it can be built and developed to address skills shortages you may have. Through our Skills Assessment, we can help identify training most suitable for you, help you find and identify the most appropriate provider, and explore potential sources of funding to help.
  1. WIDEN YOUR SEARCH: With unemployment so low and competition for labour high, it is worth considering how your business could tap into wider pools of potential workers that are sometimes overlooked. Make sure you are “selling” your company in the best way to attract the workers you want.
  1. GROW OUR OWN TALENT: More than 1,000 16-18 year-olds leave Warwickshire schools and colleges each year. Building links with local schools and colleges can help attract young people to your businesses, providing a new labour-pool, lower recruitment costs and better retention rates. It can also help bring in new ideas, fresh thinking and connection to younger consumers.  Warwickshire County Council runs a Skills for Employment programme that can help link your business to local schools & colleges and can help fund innovative projects. Apprenticeships are another key route to explore.
  1. BUSINESS SUPPORT: With low unemployment and likely additional controls on migration flows in the future, a shortage of labour could become the “new normal.” Businesses need to consider how to adjust their business models in response to these changes and potentially benefit from a range of business support programmes available in the county.

If you would like to talk to a member of the team regarding skills gaps please contact us on: skillshub@warwickshire.gov.uk. A member of the team will talk through your options and if necessary come to meet you to assess how best to tackle the skills gap identified in your business.