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Visa changes welcome news for UK skills shortages: but more is needed

by wrich

2 November 2021

News of amends to visa and immigration requirements for HGV drivers and the introduction of Scale Up Visas is positive news for employers struggling with skills shortages, but shouldn’t be viewed as a ‘silver bullet’ solution. That is according to global leader in talent acquisition and managed workforce solutions, Guidant Global.

In light of the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak’s latest Budget and Spending Review which outlined ways that the Government will be enticing more talent from outside the UK into the country to fill critical skills gaps, Guidant has warned businesses that these steps alone will not solve all resourcing challenges.

In its recent report, Talent shortages: the state of the UK labour market, the talent acquisition expert revealed the key steps that employers need to take in the current market, including removing the fear around engaging contractors post-IR35, diversifying talent pools, expanding reliance on the non-permanent workforce and collaborating with partners to innovate.

As Simon Blockley, CEO of Guidant Global, explained, implementing these actions will help develop longer-term, truly future proof workforce management strategies:

“The impact of the skills shortages across the country has become increasingly evident in recent months, with the fuel crisis and a shortage of stocks in supermarkets making the issue headline news. While Brexit certainly impacted the available resources in the UK workforce, it isn’t the only driver of this issue. The Great Resignation, a fear of getting Off-Payroll determinations wrong and an exodus of talent from those sectors that shut down during the pandemic are just a few of the other elements that are exacerbating the dearth of talent.

“For employers that are looking to ensure their business is in the best possible position to continuing on the upward trajectory that so many are experiencing at the moment, a more holistic view of how to battle the skills shortage is needed. Plans to make working in the UK more attractive to international talent will help, but shouldn’t be viewed as a standalone solution.

“We’re at a critical pivot point in the war for skills, and those that are able to broaden the scope of their talent pools will be better placed to adjust in line with the economy and develop an agile workforce that supports effective business growth.”

For more information on the talent scarcity in the UK and its impact on multiple sectors, download Guidant’s report here.

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