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Lack of skills puts growth plans on hold for a number of UK industries

Skills shortage is the main barrier

As the economy emerges from recession, new research, from the Close Brothers Business Barometer survey has found that although UK firms plan for growth, there is a skill shortage to prevent them from doing so.

Transport

Two thirds of the transport industry report plans for growth. However, 36 per cent of these companies state that they don’t have the skills and resource required to do so.

The findings, from the Close Brothers Business Barometer, also reveal that 46 per cent of businesses surveyed in this industry are finding it more difficult than usual to achieve growth, whilst 8 per cent said it’s near impossible.

Manufacturing

Almost three quarters of manufacturing firms in the UK report plans for growth, however, 29 per cent of these companies state that they don’t have the required skills and resource.

A quarter of businesses surveyed in this industry are finding it more difficult than usual to achieve growth, whilst a further 34 per cent are finding it near impossible.

Engineering

While almost three quarters of engineering firms in the UK report plans for growth, 60 per cent of these companies claim a lack of required skills and resource to allow this.

The findings also reveal that 55 per cent of businesses surveyed in the engineering industry are finding it more difficult than usual to achieve growth, whilst 16 per cent said this is near impossible.

“We’re now officially out of recession...”

Mike Randall, Chief Executive for Close Brothers Asset Finance said: “We’re now officially out of recession, so it’s no wonder industries are focusing on expansion and driving the economy back towards prosperity.

“However, it’s not good news that a lack of skill or resource is hindering plans. It could be that companies don’t have the money either to hire new talent, or to invest in new resource and equipment that will allow them to move forward. A number of respondents indicated an inability to access funds as the biggest stumbling block to growth.

“No matter what the objective, the need for businesses to find a funding solution that will suit their plans for growth is key as without this, their plans will not come to fruition.

“It is more important than ever that credit flows to businesses and there are a number of smart options that companies can take advantage of,” Mike said.

Asset finance is a flexible way to ensure you have the right equipment and resource to run a successful business, but also to release cash for day-to-day operations.

Assets can be bought under an agreed schedule of monthly payments that can take into account factors such as seasonality of a business’ work. Close Brothers Asset Finance also offers a refinancing facility that allows you to release cash from the value of existing assets.

“Our message is clear; we’re open for business. We’re working with businesses from a wide variety of industries, up and down the country to provide tailored funding packages that support and encourage growth,” Mike added.