Oxford businesses face a skills shortage that could impact on growth in 2018, despite salaries across the region seeing an above-average increase.
A new report published by the professional recruiting group Hays shows that more than half of Oxford-based businesses expect their activity to increase, with four in five organisations planning to recruit over the next 12 months.
Salaries increased by around two per cent higher than the UK average, but 89 per cent of employers have experienced a shortage of suitable applicants over the past year.
Almost 1,200 employers and employees in the Thames Valley region took part in the survey and over two thirds of respondents said they have experienced moderate to extreme skills shortages, driving higher salaries.
Nearly a quarter of employees cited salary and benefits as their main reason for wanting to leave their job in the next 12 months.
More than a fifth of businesses are now recruiting temporary professionals in a bid to alleviate the mounting pressure.
Darren Montagu, regional managing director of Hays in the south, said: “Despite the economic and political uncertainty and challenges faced by UK organisations, employers across Oxford are clearly optimistic about the year ahead.
“However, skills shortages have the potential to severely limit companies’ growth, hinder productivity and damage employee morale at a critical time.“
He added: “We therefore suggest that organisations look to make workforce planning a key strategic priority, invest in their employer brand, and use contingent workers for more than just projects.”
The highest average salary increases occurred in the construction and property industry (2.7 per cent), followed by IT (2.3 per cent) and engineering (2.2 per cent).
– Owen Hughes