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Employers paying over the odds to make up for skills gap

UK employers have resorted to paying "well above market rate" to attract employees as a result of a skills shortage, according to research.

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Nearly all firms in a survey of 400 by the Open University said it had been difficult to find workers with the skills they needed over the past year.


According to the Open University, the problem is costing companies more than £2bn a year. It says uncertainty surrounding Brexit is exacerbating the skills gap, with people already in work reluctant to move employer, and some EU nationals unwilling to take a UK role because of the lack of clarity over future immigration rules.

Many firms are having to hire temporary staff and pay additional recruitment fees, as well as higher salaries, says the report.


As many as 56% of the firms surveyed said they had had to increase the salary on an advertised role to above the market rate to get the skills they needed over the past 12 months.


For small and medium-sized firms, the average increase was £4,150, while for larger firms it was £5,575.

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