July 21, 2024

Investment and skills barriers continue to impact Welsh businesses

Over half of businesses in Wales say that upskilling staff is a high priority but they are hesitant to increase investment in training, according to the results of Chambers Wales South East, South West and Mid’s Quarterly Economic Survey.

51% of Welsh businesses stated that upskilling staff is high on their agenda but that they face a number of barriers with regards to training existing staff and recruiting new skilled employees, including funding for training and finding candidates with their desired skills amidst ongoing wage inflation.

Over the last quarter, only 18% of businesses in Wales increased investment in training, while the number of businesses whose investment plans did not change during the last three months rose by 5% from 61% in Q2 to 66% in Q3.

Despite these challenges to business growth, there appears to be hope with almost half of businesses predicting that turnover will improve over the next 12 months and 40% predicting that profitability would improve.

 

Paul Butterworth, CEO of Chambers Wales South East, South West and Mid, said: “Appropriate skills in businesses across Wales remains a barrier to economic growth along with recruiting suitable staff. This remains a consistent frustration to businesses who have ambitions to grow, as our latest Quarterly Economic Survey shows.

“Many businesses in Wales continue to report little change regarding their training investment intentions.

“With external economic factors like inflation and interest rates slowly beginning to ease, policymakers now need to turn their attention to developing a strategic approach to overcome the skills gap, leading to longer-term benefits for productivity and growth.”