Future of Work survey reveals skills gap concern


New research by global talent agencies Major Players and Arrows, out today, reveals significant concern from business leaders around their ability to attract and retain top talent.

The data – commissioned as part of a new Future of Work report – highlights how businesses are tackling the skills shortage, following a finding that over a third (33%) of respondents see it as a key threat to business growth.

Concern over finding top talent

Insights from over 100 business leaders across the UK, including Sky, Nestle, The Financial Times, Domestic & General, and Omnicom agency, Haygarth, reveals that almost a quarter of those surveyed (24%) do not have any form of internal training or development programmes in place.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given this finding, the vast majority (83%) aren’t focussing on internal mobility and 85% aren’t adopting a skills first approach during the hiring process, limiting their ability to equip their organisation with an agile, innovative and future-ready workforce.

As well as the clear need for learning and development to be a priority for 2024, the report also reveals:

  • Almost half (49%) of business leaders believe economic restrictions will inhibit their ability to attract and retain talent as they will not be able to offer competitive renumeration packages.
  • 30% of respondents believed a lack of internal opportunities would impact their ability to retain talent – with almost half (44%), filling less than 10% of their roles internally.
  • With AI skills in short supply not enough is being done to tackle that particular skills gap – with only 17% of businesses feeling prepared for and already investing in it.

Joanne Lucy, Managing Director of Major Players & Arrows, said: “With a billion people globally – or one third of the workforce – needing to be re-skilled before 2030, one thing is clear: businesses need to address their hiring policies to explore a skills first approach, whilst also prioritising learning and development programmes and internal mobility.

“The data in the report confirms what businesses need to do to successfully start navigating this changing landscape of work and how to compete in the war for talent.”