Skills shortage 'biggest problem' for London firms
A shortage of skilled labour is the biggest problem facing London firms, an influential business report has stated.
The London Annual Business Survey said that for the third year running, companies had rated skills shortages as a worse problem than even premises, labour or transport costs.
Of the 4,002 companies that took part in the survey, 27.4 per cent more reported increased business productivity than decreased productivity. However, this was slightly down from 2004's figure of 27.6 per cent, with 28 per cent of firms blaming the slowdown on an inability to recruit skilled staff.
Around 34 per cent of firms rated a lack of skilled workers as either a significant or a very significant problem, up from 23.9 per cent in 2004.
The sectors that were the worst affected were construction, ICT, hotels and restaurants and transport and communication.
Chief executive of the London Development Agency (LDA) Manny Lewis said: "The London Annual Business Survey provides a unique insight into the issues faced by businesses and it is clear that a shortage of skilled labour remains a key concern.
"The LDA is committed to working with our partners and the new Employment and Skills Board to improve the skills of London's workforce and build on continued improvements in productivity"