Skill shortage could prove barrier to growth of St Helens economy

A quarterly economic review by St Helens Chamber has revealed moderate growth for local industry with plans to expand in the final half of 2014

A quarterly economic review by St Helens Chamber has revealed moderate growth for local industry with plans to expand in the final half of 2014

First published in News

A SHORTAGE of skilled workers in manufacturing could prove a major barrier to growing the local economy, according to the results of a business survey.

A quarterly economic review by St Helens Chamber has revealed moderate growth for local industry with plans to expand in the final half of 2014.

But an obvious skills gap is proving a concern.

Manufacturing fared particularly well whilst recent improvements for the service sector have stalled, the survey of 161 chamber members found.

However, “confidence remains strong and both sectors have experienced improved cash flow”.

The number of firms operating at full capacity in both sectors is at its highest since 2008 when the recession took hold.

Employment growth fell short of expected levels but the number of jobs created is forecasted to be back on track in the third quarter.

Tracy Mawson, director of business services at the Chamber said the “results are more good news for the St Helens economy”.

She said: “Having charted slow but steady growth across most indicators throughout 2013, the first two quarters of 2014 have seen some of the best results in St Helens since the recession started in 2008.

“Although some of these high levels dipped slightly in the latest quarter, our survey demonstrates that job creation and confidence levels remain very positive.”

Nearly three quarters of businesses plan to grow over the next two years but an acute shortage of skilled technical staff in the manufacturing sector, particularly fabrication and precision engineering, is a major worry.

It means recruiting people with the “right skills gets much more difficult as the economy grows presenting business with a double edged sword”, added the director.

Comments (9)

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2:38pm Tue 15 Jul 14

jumperr says...

As if nobody has never mentioned the lack of training sincein the l thatchers era, every body seen what was happening these people who get voted in should really be brought up for the promises that went in the long grass
As if nobody has never mentioned the lack of training sincein the l thatchers era, every body seen what was happening these people who get voted in should really be brought up for the promises that went in the long grass jumperr
  • Score: 3

7:15pm Tue 15 Jul 14

anthonywilson says...

These sorts of stories about a lack of skills always make me smile.

Perhaps if we had a much more stronger manufacturing base that actually invested in the requisite skills rather than shifting the blame elsewhere for the deficiencies in manufacturing industry in terms of not investing in people these stories would never see the light of day. Of course St Helens Chamber would never criticise the very organisations it represents would it?
These sorts of stories about a lack of skills always make me smile. Perhaps if we had a much more stronger manufacturing base that actually invested in the requisite skills rather than shifting the blame elsewhere for the deficiencies in manufacturing industry in terms of not investing in people these stories would never see the light of day. Of course St Helens Chamber would never criticise the very organisations it represents would it? anthonywilson
  • Score: 3

7:18pm Tue 15 Jul 14

AiJay1 says...

Then why don't these selfish companies take on new young people and train them up like they used to do instead of showing them the finger.
Then why don't these selfish companies take on new young people and train them up like they used to do instead of showing them the finger. AiJay1
  • Score: 10

10:17pm Tue 15 Jul 14

jumperr says...

Didn't the govt put money up to buisnesses to take people on,where's that money gone?
Didn't the govt put money up to buisnesses to take people on,where's that money gone? jumperr
  • Score: 2

9:49am Fri 18 Jul 14

keepitreel says...

it was cheaper for the LIEBORE government to let immigrants who were trained to come into the country than teach our own,they work for less money,dont expect the same fringe benefits as a union member would and they are a ready supply of workers.
What company is going to spend money training someone when they can phone an agency and have someone trained and ready to work the next day for 2/3 rd the cost,was it BROWN who called a woman a bigot for raising the point,no the problem lies at the door steps of the unions and the LIEBORE party,one for expecting more and more thus pricing the British worker out of a job and the other for not stopping immigration when they could.
it was cheaper for the LIEBORE government to let immigrants who were trained to come into the country than teach our own,they work for less money,dont expect the same fringe benefits as a union member would and they are a ready supply of workers. What company is going to spend money training someone when they can phone an agency and have someone trained and ready to work the next day for 2/3 rd the cost,was it BROWN who called a woman a bigot for raising the point,no the problem lies at the door steps of the unions and the LIEBORE party,one for expecting more and more thus pricing the British worker out of a job and the other for not stopping immigration when they could. keepitreel
  • Score: 2

1:33pm Fri 18 Jul 14

jumperr says...

Does that mean the money never went to what it was meant for?
Does that mean the money never went to what it was meant for? jumperr
  • Score: 0

8:14pm Fri 18 Jul 14

keepitreel says...

jumperr wrote:
Does that mean the money never went to what it was meant for?
most were taken on for menial work lasting 6 months or as office juniors again for only 6 or 12 months,they were paid a little more than jsa but some were out of pocket after travel costs,a proper apprentice as i know it did 5 years of college as well as on the job training got indentured and came out with a trade or profusion,not many doing that now or in the past few years i bet.
[quote][p][bold]jumperr[/bold] wrote: Does that mean the money never went to what it was meant for?[/p][/quote]most were taken on for menial work lasting 6 months or as office juniors again for only 6 or 12 months,they were paid a little more than jsa but some were out of pocket after travel costs,a proper apprentice as i know it did 5 years of college as well as on the job training got indentured and came out with a trade or profusion,not many doing that now or in the past few years i bet. keepitreel
  • Score: 0

10:58pm Fri 18 Jul 14

jumperr says...

Why is it not looked at, something is amiss last time I heard there was a 17 billion hole that couldn't be found or accounted for
Why is it not looked at, something is amiss last time I heard there was a 17 billion hole that couldn't be found or accounted for jumperr
  • Score: -1

5:34pm Mon 21 Jul 14

barrie timpson says...

I find it hard to believe , when walking down Church st and viewing our finest specimens , that we have a skill shortage.
So many fine minds with little else to do other than drink kestrel super strength and buy scratch cards whilst engaging in some play fighting with their partners ;)
I find it hard to believe , when walking down Church st and viewing our finest specimens , that we have a skill shortage. So many fine minds with little else to do other than drink kestrel super strength and buy scratch cards whilst engaging in some play fighting with their partners ;) barrie timpson
  • Score: 0

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