Government report shows increasing demand for customer service skills

5th Feb 2016

The latest Employer Skills Survey reveals a growing number of job vacancies are left unfilled because companies cannot find people with sufficient customer service skills.

The biennial report published by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills examines the skills challenges facing employers, and is based on interviews with approximately 90,000 British businesses. According to this year’s findings, nearly a quarter of job openings were left vacant in 2015 due to lack of skills – a 130% increase on the 2011 figure. 

Last year’s skills shortage included both technical and people skills and, of the latter, those most lacking related to time management, leadership, sales and customer handling. With 39% of applicants specifically lacking customer-handling skills, Jo Causon, chief executive of the Institute of Customer Service, urges the Government to place customer service training at the heart of cross-sector apprenticeships. She also recommends that employers ensure service skill development is central to their training programmes.

“With more than 70% of the UK’s workforce operating in customer-facing roles, customer service competencies are a vital set of transferable skills all job hunters need to master,” she explains. “It is not just job hunters, though; employers need to consider the customer service skills of their current employees across their organisations at all levels if they are to secure their long-term performance, in order to drive productivity, boost jobs and achieve the growth the UK is looking for.’’

Click here to read the report in full.

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