Solving labour shortages won’t be easy – but we can start by making jobs more attractive in a post-Covid world

The pandemic has created more demand for some jobs but cut demand for others, says Hamish McRae. But it’s the changed relationship between workers and employers which will have the greatest impact

Sunday 10 October 2021 15:58
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<p>The CBI has warned that labour supply problems could last up to two years (Peter Byrne/PA)</p>

The CBI has warned that labour supply problems could last up to two years (Peter Byrne/PA)

Labour shortages are everywhere across the developed world. They are very evident in the UK, with many fuel stations still closed, dishes taken off restaurant menus, and gaps on supermarket shelves.

But the same thing is happening in the US. The New York Times ran a column last month entitled “Good News. There’s a Labor Shortage”.

Germany needs another 400,000 skilled workers every year, according to the head of the Federal Employment Agency, Detlef Scheele. France is short of 40,000-50,000 lorry drivers, according to the prime minister, Jean Castex. Italy struggled to harvest its fruit crops this summer, while the other G7 nations, Japan and Canada are hit by a lack of workers too.

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