Parliament sounds alarm over major skills shortage

05 June 2024

Members of Parliament have warned that a UK skills shortage is jeopardising the delivery of crucial infrastructure projects, as the government braces to allocate a staggering £800 billion towards major initiatives.

According to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the UK finds itself ill-equipped to execute ambitious infrastructure plans over the next half-decade due to a significant deficit in essential skills. The report underscores the urgent need for 16,000 professionals to undergo accreditation via the government’s major project leadership academy, yet only 1,000 have completed this process thus far.

“The pressing issue of the UK’s skills shortage highlighted by the Parliamentary Committee extends far beyond infrastructure concerns. It’s a challenge impacting all industries from finance to tech and beyond,” said Michael Thornton, director of public sector at Investigo, part of The IN Group. “Organisations must evaluate and have a clear understanding on the resources they need to deliver critical projects, prioritising the recruitment and training of digitally skilled staff to lead innovation initiatives.

Different projects require different skill sets and different levels of experience, so organisations, whether in the public or private sector, should work with partners to bring in the staff they need. These staff can be critical to overseeing technology such as AI, which can significantly boost efficiency by automating repetitive tasks and ensure project deadlines are met. In fact, our Tech and the Boardroom survey revealed that 62% are prioritising hiring AI experts to capitalise on the advancements of AI technology. As the PAC’s report highlights, unlocking the power of people is a crucial part of driving operational efficiency.”