10 per cent of workers ‘incompetent’

One in every 10 workers is incompetent, according to a survey of employers.

Workers were, more often than not, inexperienced and lacked the requisite skills to do their job well, according to a report by the Learning and Skills Council, which interviewed more than 72,000 employers.

The National Employer Skill Survey found a fifth of vacancies (135,000 potential jobs) were left unfilled because of a severe skills shortage and work was consequently being lost to overseas firms.

The report also found that one third of employers thought they were doing enough to train their own staff.

But 40 per cent of employees had provided no training in the previous 12 months.

The LSC found 11 per cent of bosses said their workforce was “incompetent” (roughly 2.4 million people) while about a quarter per cent said their workforce’s skills were inadequate.

The LSC is the body responsible for all post-16 education and training outside universities.

Accountants Ernst and Young claim industry losses around GBP10bn annually through lack of basic skills in the workforce.

Mark Haysom, chief executive of the LSC, said: “This survey is all about listening to and understanding the needs of business. To remain competitive both nationally and internationally, English businesses must be strategic about staff training and development.”