European Year of Skills: Survey highlights skills shortages in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

By Steven Galvin - Last update

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A new European Year of Skills survey published confirms that skilled workers are key to the success of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe.

According to the survey, 95% of all SMEs say that it is very (82%) or moderately (13%) important for their business model to have workers with the right skills.

This situation holds nearly two thirds (63%) of companies back in their general business activities. Nearly half of them (45%) also say it hinders their efforts to adopt or use digital technologies, and four in ten (39%) see difficulties to green their business activities.

SMEs already apply a broad set of measures to find and retain workers. This includes efforts to make better use of talent within the company (e.g. staff mobility or job rotation), more investment in training, or increasing the attractiveness of jobs in terms of (non-) financial benefits.

To make it easier to recruit staff with the required skills, SMEs say they need better collaboration with public employment services (58%), better tools for assessing the skills of applicants (49%), better tools for assessing the company’s skills needs (46%), and easier procedures for recognition of foreign qualifications (38%).

Steven Galvin

Second Prep4Seed Investor Readiness Programme
Ireland’s Competitiveness Challenge 2023


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