There has been a major increase in the number of UK CEOs expressing concern over the availability of suitably skilled candidates in the workforce, a new survey reveals.

The 2015 Global CEO Survey by PwC found that the number of UK CEOs citing skills shortages as a major concern has soared from last year’s 64% to a massive 84%. This is considerably higher than the number of non-UK CEOs who share the same concern, which globally totalled 73%.

Over two-thirds (67%) of UK respondents believe that the government should urgently prioritise developing a skilled and adaptable workforce, but just 26% think that the government has achieved this goal.

PwC senior partner and chairman Ian Powell said that UK CEOs shared a keen focus on how the country is to build the skilled workforce it needs to compete globally. He added: “Our survey again highlights the pressing need for the government, business and education sectors to work together to enable the UK to prosper in the long term. There has been good progress with apprenticeship schemes, but we need to build on this success to ensure that skills and opportunities are matched.”

The impact of digital trends also feature prominently in the concerns of UK CEOs, the survey found, with 59% worried about the speed of technological innovation ‒ a four point increase compared to the same time last year.

Given the magnitude of these concerns, it seems likely that skilled Umbrella Company employees and others in the UK’s professional contracting community will continue to be in demand during 2015.

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