Business Fears Over Number Not Seeking Work

13 Feb 2024

Published in: British Chambers of Commerce News

Chambers respond to the latest labour market data from ONS

Sarah Moorhouse, CEO at Black Country Chamber of Commerce said: 

“We see this in the Black Country, with 63% of businesses reporting recruitment difficulties in the last quarterly economic survey.

"However there is some positive news. There are examples of businesses trialling training along with the government, such as our member In-Comm Training. In partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), In-Comm Training has created a fast-track course that aims to create up to 65 new CNC machinists and electro-mechanical fitters for RTX’s Collins Aerospace factory in Wolverhampton.

"The partnership with DWP meant that trainees continued to be paid their Universal Credit payments while completing the course, removing a potential barrier of people being unable to afford unpaid training.”

Jane Gratton, Deputy Director Public Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce said:

“Fewer vacancies show the labour market is softening but firms are still reporting difficulties finding skilled staff and the large number of inactive workers is concerning.

“To grow our economy we need more skilled, engaged and motivated people to contribute to the workforce in every part of the UK.

“Government must do more to remove barriers for people who want to work, including access to childcare, public transport, health support and training.

“By offering more flexible workplaces, training and upskilling, employers can make their jobs more accessible to a broader talent pool and help prevent people from leaving the workforce unnecessarily.

“The BCC’s own research indicates the labour market remains tight for many. Unless we get more people back into the workplace then the risk of higher inflation and interest rates will persist for longer.”

More detail on the ONS Labour Market data can be found here.

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