Global skills gap 'threatens UK growth'

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The Independent Online

The world faces a chronic skills shortage which threatens to curb economic growth in the UK, emerging markets and the rest of the world, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Despite high levels of unemployment, 10 million manufacturing jobs worldwide cannot presently be filled because there is a lack of trained workers and engineers.

Although the report doesn't calculate the size of the UK skills shortage, it is at pains to underline the importance of good staff for the country's future.

"There is a new breed of operations emerging in the UK that are fully focused on innovation and spearheading new developments on the global stage. These organisations require a highly-skilled and forward-thinking workforce, which means companies are fighting for the best talent."

It said competition between nations to attract foreign direct investment will "increase dramatically" and good infrastructure would be key to attracting it.

The challenge for emerging markets is to develop good quality, new infrastructure, the report added, saying that these countries would have an advantage in attracting skilled staff.