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Survey launched into Thames Valley skills and recruitment needs

A survey has been launched into the recruitment, skills and training needs of businesses in the Thames Valley.

PR and marketing agency C8 Consulting, in association with Activate Learning and leading professional recruiting group Parkside Recruitment, have launched the Thames Valley Skills, Education and Recruitment Survey.

With immediate effect, local businesses are encouraged to participate to share their views on skills, recruitment and education needs in the Thames Valley.

They survey will run until 19 December and the initial findings will be unveiled at a high level roundtable event hosted by C8 Consulting, Parkside Recruitment and Activate Learning in February 2016.

Sally Dicketts, chief executive of Activate Learning said: “As a group of schools, colleges and training providers our aim is to equip people with the technical and soft skills required for success in their future careers. We can only achieve that by working with employers to understand their needs, identify growth areas and skills shortages and to jointly design learning programmes that bridge gaps.

“Through this survey we are keen to hear more from businesses about their needs and growth plans and how education providers can best support them as partners in developing a skilled workforce.”

Brian Poxon of Parkside Recruitment comments: “We have been hearing about the skills gap for a number of years now, but I think this is now becoming a major issue for businesses particularly in this region. It is vital then that companies find the best way to address this.

“More than half (58%) of businesses in the Thames Valley have problems finding the right skills. Collectively as a region, we need to find ways to tackle these issues and this means providing young people with the skills that companies are looking for and equally encouraging young people to display the behaviours that will guarantee not only employment but also and professional fulfilment in their careers.”

Earlier in the year the report ‘Make or break: The UK's digital future’ suggested the next government urgently needs to resolve the skills gap and estimated that 35% of UK jobs will be automated over the next 20 years. The report also highlighted the need for more apprenticeships and a shift in the country’s attitude towards these skills, ensuring the UK has enough people trained with the necessary skills.

The full skills survey report will be published and circulated at the end of February 2016.  A breakfast seminar to unveil the results to the Thames Valley Business Community will take place in March 2016.