News story

Skills shortages continue to hamper business

Business Barometer 2023Learning News

73% of UK organisations are experiencing skills shortages; remains one of the major challenges facing employers.


According to this year’s Business Barometer report published by The Open University (OU) and the British Chambers of Commerce, 73% of UK organisations are currently experiencing skills shortages, which remains one of the major challenges facing employers.

The annual report, which provides a temperature check on the UK skills landscape, highlights that despite the ongoing skills shortage, over a half (54%) of organisations don’t have any specific initiatives, skills programmes or workplace adjustments in place for specific talent pools including underrepresented groups such as people with disabilities or workers from diverse ethnicities.

The report suggests that employers are missing out on the hidden talent pool and an opportunity to ‘grow your own’ talent during a time where two in four (42%) organisations say they have been prevented from filling roles due to lack of applicants.

The report, based on a survey of more than 1,250 employers includes:

  • A breakdown of the size, nature, causes, impacts and impacts of the skills shortage.
  • Data from UK regions and nations, across a range of sectors and business sizes.
  • Insight into organisations’ ability to strategically plan to solve their skills gaps
  • Analysis of employers’ plans for learning and development.
  • Case studies of organisations reaching new talent pools through innovative initiatives.

Download the report: Business Baromoter 2023. Direct link:

Have you heard about the OU's Elevate Equity 2023?
The Business Barometer found that employers were struggling to access hidden talent pools within the workforce.
Learn from inspiring guests and secure a place for this event taking place next month. Reservations: Elevate Equity 2023 - A hybrid event from The Open University.

26 July, 09:00-16:30 - attend virtually or in-person at The Open University, Hub Theatre, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA.