A survey of over 600 British business leaders has revealed fears of a major skills shortage within the next three years.

The report, from the Prince’s Trust and HSBC,  found that three quarters of UK businesses were concerned that skilled workers would dry up in the near future creating problems for running an effective and efficient company.

Businesses with over 500 employees in all major sectors were surveyed as an impending skills shortage has been weighing on many minds in recent times.

Growth was a major worry of those questioned with 68% suggesting a lack of skilled workers will bring the UK’s recovery to a standstill. In turn, 35% believed it might cause the end of their own business.

Martina Milburn, the chief executive of the Prince’s Trust, said: “It is deeply concerning that employers are struggling to fill vacancies when we have hundreds of thousands of unemployed young people desperate for work.

“The current economic recovery is encouraging, but in order to sustain this growth, UK plc needs to invest in the next generation to avoid a skills vacuum.”

Many companies have been reporting growth recently, with 71% of those surveyed saying demand had increased, while 63% said they were growing faster than last year.

While good for the economy, that plays its own part in the problem. 59% of businesses said that growth was making the skills gap worse. 45% also said they were worried about the age of their staff increasing.

The head of education and employment at the CBI business group, Rob Wall, said: “The lack of skills in key sectors risks acting as a brake on our economic recovery. Moving forward, we need structural reform to open up more routes to higher skills.”

Image by bisgovuk.