According to new research, the skills gap UK small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) currently face could affect their revenue by £145,000 in the next year, rising to potentially £318,000 in the next five years.

One of the most pressing issues for UK businesses is the skills gap; which is characterised as the difference in skills required within an organisation and the actual skills possessed by an organisation’s workforce.

Over the years, the skills gap has widened for several reasons, including a shrinking talent pool due to Brexit, increased digitisation and economic influences. As a result, the UK is now the lowest in the G7.

Figures indicated that SMEs are concerned about the potential impact of macroeconomic events on the skills gap in their organisations. Of those surveyed, 60 per cent said that a recession would negatively impact the skills gap in their business and 47 per cent cited Brexit as a major factor.

Although, a quarter of those polled said Brexit would have no impact on their skills gap at all, while almost half said the same about a General Election before 2020.

To try to narrow the skills gap and address the issue, almost two-thirds of small firms are intending to train and upskill existing staff. They are also going to implement other strategies such as recruiting permanent staff and hiring temporary staff.

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