Recruitment continues to cause a headache for SMEs

Finding the right people to fill vacancies is more likely than anything else to give business-owners sleepless nights, a new study has suggested.

On the whole the UK’s SMEs are feeling increasingly positive about their future prospects, following an uncertain few years.

But the most common cause for concern remains recruitment, with many businesses willing to admit that finding skilled staff can be a difficult job.

The new report, prepared by YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research, has found that a third of small and medium-sized businesses plan to take on more staff within the next year.

Unfortunately many admit that they have concerns about finding people with the appropriate qualifications and experience.

The difficulties of equipping people with the right skills were highlighted by a separate report this week, which revealed that almost 60 per cent of the nation’s graduates had ended up in jobs which didn’t require degrees.

Many find that there is little demand in the employment market for the qualifications they have received at university and are instead accepting non-graduate roles.

This has led to calls in some quarters for Britain to follow the example of countries such as Germany, where a small proportion of the population go into higher-education and a greater emphasis is placed on vocational training.

A Department for Business, Innovation and Skills spokesman said: “We are providing the right mix of university places and apprenticeships to ensure more people have the opportunity to advance their careers and businesses to get the skills they need to grow.”