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Skills demand in the Cambridge area: Attracting and retaining skills

The objective of this study is to inform the discussion on the skills that require development to meet the needs of the present and future labour market in the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough (GCGP) region. This report presents evidence based on data from the Employer Skills 2015 survey carried out by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. Research findings will be used to inform policymaking at the local and national level. Analyses are conducted for four industry sectors that were considered particularly relevant for the local labour market in the region, namely Life Sciences, Information and Communications, Health and Social Work and Construction. The analyses are guided by four high-level research questions examining: (1) the level of skills demand; (2) the main causes for difficulties in meeting the skills demand; (3) what employers are doing to meet the skills demand; and (4) the impact of unmet skills demand/skills gaps on employers. Whenever feasible, analyses are focused on comparing situations between sectors, occupations and areas in the GCGP region, and comparing the local labour market situation with the rest of England., The analyses indicate that: (1) overall, employers in the GCGP region report having a similar share of vacancies and hard-to-fill vacancies as in the rest of England; (2) skills shortages are reported at both ends of the skills continuum – high-level and low-level skills; and (3) finally, the skills gaps and hard-to-fill vacancies have greater impact on employers in the GCGP region than in the rest of England, in particular in the Life Sciences and Construction sectors.