Economic recovery for the UK may now be strengthened as the Business Confidence Monitor from ICAEW has recorded its highest reading to date, revealing an increase for six consecutive quarters.

Despite the upturn, the research also highlights some concerns for the economy, with a lack of required growth for exports and a continued skills shortage despite increases in job creation. A separate report from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) has found that skills shortage vacancies, positions which employers are unable to find appropriately skilled and qualified candidates for, are rising at twice the rate as general vacancies. Since 2009, the number of skills shortage vacancies in England has doubled to 22 percent of 559,600 vacancies in England; the overall number of job vacancies has also risen by 45 percent.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) published a skills and employment manifesto last month which states that the economic prosperity of the UK is at risk from a failure to equip young people with the skills employers are looking for. Patrick Phelan, Managing Director for Aquaterra Energy, said: “Despite the widely recognised skills shortages, businesses across a variety of sectors are seeing growing confidence in both customer and supply chains. The engineering sector is experiencing one of the most profound shortages of skilled and experienced workers, yet signs for the future are highly promising, as industry and education institutions collaborate to promote skilled careers in engineering and associated disciplines.

“Aquaterra Energy is helping to stimulate the market through partnerships with education providers and is also offering opportunities for graduates and career changes to gain hands-on experience through its apprenticeship and training schemes.  With confidence also comes a new mobility in the recruitment sector and history tells us we should begin to see skilled workers taking more ‘risks’ and moving on from current positions to further their careers.”