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It's time to tackle acute labour and skills shortages

Access to the right skills and labour is essential for growth. Yet since the pandemic, businesses across sectors, regions and nations have been suffering from acute labour and skills shortages. At the same time, the UK has one of the highest skill mismatches in the G7 - even before we consider future skills demands. Around 90% of the UK’s existing workforce will need to add to their skills by 2030.


The change we're calling for

The government needs to work with business to maximise the domestic supply of labour by increasing uptake of tech adoption to address labour shortages and removing barriers to work related to ill-health and caring responsibilities. We need to sharpen our focus on adult skills by making the skills system more responsive to business needs, with a focus on flexible upskilling, and we are long overdue a grown-up conversation about the targeted immigration the UK economy needs to complement homegrown talent.

  • Incentivise business investment in workforce health by making preventative interventions like EAPs and early occupational health referrals fully tax free

  • Introduce meaningful flexibility of the Apprenticeship Levy

  • Review the UK’s immigration system and reform the Migration Advisory Committee

A new approach for our labour market


A skilled, productive and healthy national workforce that underpins economic growth

Businesses are having to operate with too many roles they can’t fill. This worker shortage highlights the importance of improving access to training and removing barriers to work.

  • 71% of businesses say they have been impacted by labour shortages in the last 12 months

  • Nine in ten employees will need to reskill by 2030

  • 49% of businesses stated that a change in the tax system would incentivise employers to invest in the health of their workforce

Technology adoption can tackle the workforce challenges of the future


Greater adoption of technology can help business to deliver long-term sustainable economic growth by unlocking productivity, with research showing a potential 1.5% uplift from the automation of tasks, while also improving job satisfaction in tech-enabled workplaces.

  • Technology & innovation —

    Tech Tracker 2020: the innovation imperative

  • Technology & innovation —

    The CBI launches Big Fish, Little Fish – what you need to know

Navigate recruitment and retention challenges


We’ve identified the four levers you can pull in your people strategy that have the biggest impact on recruitment and retention amid a persistently tight labour market. Learn how other businesses are changing their practice and innovating to reduce the impact on their business.

  • Future of Work —

    Maximise your talent pool

  • Future of Work —

    Invest in leadership and management capability

  • Future of Work —

    Invest in training

  • Future of Work —

    Adopt and diffuse new technology

Create a healthier, more productive workforce


From larger businesses to SMEs, firms across the country have a role to play in creating a healthier, more productive workforce, through the prioritisation of employee health. Access practical tools with recommendations for your organisation across the Work Health Index's four chapters, including actions to take, case studies from other businesses, and readily available support.

  • Boost your health and wellbeing baseline

  • Take a preventative approach

  • Get your people living well

  • Support your people's wellbeing

The business case behind diversity and inclusion


The business case for increasing diversity and inclusion is getting stronger. Find out how many businesses across the UK have put inclusion at the heart of their organisation to support recruitment and retention, and to create more engaged and productive workforces.

  • Diversity and Inclusion —

    Bridge the gap: practical ways to close your ethnicity pay gap

  • Future of Work —

    Mind the gap: practical ways to close your gender pay gap

  • Diversity and Inclusion —

    Time to advance: the next steps on your diversity and inclusion journey


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