Scale-up Lead, Partner London +44 (0)20 7131 4450
26 September 2017
Entrepreneurial ambitions not dented by Brexit, but access to talent is an increasing concern
Entrepreneurs remain confident in growing their own business, although they are increasingly unsure of finding the right people for the job.
Our research shows that entrepreneurial businesses remain ambitious about their potential to grow, with just under 60% expecting to increase headcount– a result that has not been affected by Brexit.
However, there is growing concern about the relative readiness of potential employees: only 32% believe that the employment pool is adequately trained. The steadily downward trend on this score does not bode well for ambitious, fast growth businesses.
One of the most significant issues for scale-up companies remains skill shortages, according to the ScaleUp Institute, a private non-profit company that identified six main gaps as to why businesses struggle to scale in the UK.
Our own research supports this, validating the prediction that within the next year, only 20% of business leaders believe there will be enough appropriate, relevant and qualified talent in the workplace. It’s unclear whether the employment pool itself has shrunk, or whether the existing workforce lacks the skills and training required to be successful in a scale-up business.
One reason scale-ups look to the EU for talent is a lack of confidence in the local employment pool; entrepreneurs do not feel that the national workforce is adequately training people to move into business.
The government could provide real support at this stage: not only by creating a scale-up visa, enabling talent to enter the UK regardless of the impact of Brexit, but also by supporting the appropriate training of our home-grown talent. Arguably, training our school leavers and students for the world of work will be crucial to British businesses in the long run – regardless of the impact of Brexit.