The UK has one of the world’s most adaptable workforces, according to new research.
Adapt to Survive was commissioned by LinkedIn and carried out by PwC. It compared data from the social network’s 277 million users to information on more than 2,500 employers from PwC’s database to understand which countries had the closest alignment between the skills available and what employers actually need.
It assumes that in countries where the needs of employers and the skills within the workforce are closely aligned, workers are more adaptable, meaning that they are flexible enough to retrain for new roles or switch to working in different industries.
Overall the study gave the UK a Talent Adaptability Score of 67, the second-highest among the 11 countries analysed. Only the Netherlands scored higher, with a score of 85 which was boosted by the large proportion of workers who speak more than one language.
That means that PwC found the UK’s employees are more responsive to change than their counterparts in economies such as the US, Canada, Germany and France.
The company says that this is down to the UK having a major international market and a high concentration of international businesses – in fact, a recent report from Deloitte found that 40 per cent of the world’s top companies had set up their European headquarters in London.
However, where skills and demand don’t necessarily meet there is still a cost to the UK economy. According to the report, the UK is potentially losing out on as much as £1.2 billion per year thanks to lost productivity and the money being wasted on avoidable recruitment processes.
“Instead of a skills gap hampering growth plans, organisations need to be better at matching talent to opportunities,” says Kevin MacAllister, partner and private sector leader for PwC in Northern Ireland.
“This includes using analytics to identify skills that are central to the business strategy now and in the future, improving internal mobility and rewarding people who display new and adaptable skills.”