UK Financial Services Firms Suffer From Record Skills Shortage

By Olivia Fletcher | August 10, 2022

UK finance firms are struggling with its worst job vacancy rates on record, underlining the skills shortage caused by digitization in banking, investing and insurance.

The industry had more than five vacancies unfilled for every 100 jobs between April and June 2022, according to data compiled by the Office for National Statistics. That’s the highest since records began in 2001, and puts the sector behind only hospitality and tech firms.

A skills gap created by more firms going digital and requiring employees to have new skills, compounded by challenges in the labor market, with people switching up their working habits or stepping away from employment during the COVID-19 pandemic, has caused the vacancy pressure, Financial Services Skills Commission’s Chief Executive Officer Claire Tunley said in an interview.

It means hiring employees is taking more time and effort than expected, with one FSSC member firm recently describing recruitment as “painful.” The shortage of existing talent in the labor market is causing employers to shift to a “reskilling approach,” Chief Executive Officer Tunley said.

The data underlines the continuing tightness of the jobs market even at a time of wider economic stress.

To counter the talent shortfall, some firms have started training their staff in new areas such as machine learning and automation, Tunley said. “We can’t wait for schools to do this — it’s here and now.”

Photograph: Morning commuters cross London Bridge in the City of London, UK, on Monday, March 14, 2022. Photo credit: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

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