Thursday, September 5th, 2002
The August survey took recruitment as its major theme. This time, from the
factors directly impacting on recruitment, we asked if employment legislation
deters from taking on new staff; if young people are being attracted into
industries; for views on skill shortages, and on the employability of new
graduates. The August Survey also looked at sales to the public sector,
government plans for flexible working, the EU Work Time Directive, interaction
with local schools and expanding barometer coverage.Results are summarised
here. For the latest results please visit results.
About the respondents
126 respondents were drawn with the following population characteristics:
|Production & Manufacturing
|< 1 M
|Number of Full-time Employees
A previous Business Barometer Survey (November 1998) showed that the area of
government legislation that gives most cause for concern is employment
legislation. August's survey question specifically on employment regulation
showed that 48% consider employment regulation is a relatively highly
significant barrier to taking on new staff, and only 11% see it as
The adequacy of succession arrangements, training and skills are key to future
success in industry. We asked if enough young people are being attracted for
future requirements. The response from 28% was relatively sufficient, very
similar to the response from the same question in July 1999, but 41% feel that
insufficient young people are being attracted - in July 1999 it was only 24%.
Constraint of business from lack of Key Skills is being experienced more now
than in August 2000 - 28% are relatively highly constrained now, while it was
only 13% then. Shortages of Technical Skills are also causing constraint in 41%
of panellists' businesses, compared to 28% in August 2000.
One third of respondents employ new graduates, but of those, more find that
their new employees are unprepared for employment (14% of total) than prepared
to some extent (6%). Even so, 10% of panellists find that their business is
constrained by problems of recruitment or access to graduates.
A year ago the government announced plans to encourage smaller businesses to
participate in the supply chain for the public sector. Our survey shows some
very small growth over the year, in the percentage of turnover deriving from
sales to the public sector, particularly in firms deriving more than 50% of
their turnover from the public sector.
The DTI has recently surveyed employees on their working hours and ministers
want to encourage flexible working. In our Survey of small business, 42% or
respondents agree that encouragement of flexible working will be relatively
highly damaging for small business, while only 14% disagree. 78% would like the
UK to extend the opt-out provision of the EU Working Time Directive next year.
Interest in local firms and industry can begin at a very early age. We found
that over a third of our respondents have regular contact with local schools.
Finally in August we asked our panellists for some advice on how to expand the
panel! Mindful that busy CEOs have limited time for Surveys, but appreciate the
opportunity to communicate their views directly to key influencers, we are
looking for effective ways to approach and engage new panellists. Email came
out as easily the most popular method of approach.
Listed below are extracts from feedback received in Survey
BB51 August 2002.
Comments are listed under sector headings.
Views expressed are those of individual panellists and may not represent those
of the University.
EC and the UK government are still putting to much red tape on SMEs
Most small businesses feel the weight of government intrusion, yet do not have a
vote in general elections. The Barometer is a way for businesses to express a
vote and, publicising this the best way to solicit new contributors!
Is the burden of "red tape" preventing many small business from expanding or
even starting? How will insurance increases, particularly employers liability
/ Tel: 0115 84 66860.