AS THE race to become the UK’s next Prime Minister is whittled down to two, business leaders in Coventry and Warwickshire say the new PM’s first priority should be sorting out the country’s recruitment crisis.
Grassroots Conservative members will be choosing over the summer whether they want former Chancellor Rishi Sunak or former Foreign Secretary Liz Truss to lead the party and become the new PM.
According to Corin Crane, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, the ‘tight labour market’ is holding back growth.
The latest Office for National Statistics show the unemployment rate has fallen to 3.8 per cent and the number of job vacancies are continuing to rise as firms look to fill roles in order to grow.
He said: “Low unemployment has been a success story as we’ve emerged from the Covid-19 crisis but when you speak to businesses, one of their biggest concerns right now is their ability to hire staff.
“It’s holding back growth in the economy and, with so many other issues such as rising energy costs, inflation and problems with the supply chain, it’s an additional headache for firms across the region.”
He added an innovative approach to funding and engagement was needed to help businesses overcome the immediate hurdle by making it easier to bring labour in from overseas.
This, he said, would allow businesses to work on retraining and also attract more people back into the workplace who had become economically inactive over recent years.