The Leap 100 - June Poll

The great skills race: How the UK measures up

IMMIGRATION provides a lifeline for Britain’s fast-growth firms. Over 60 per cent of The Leap 100 rely on non-UK nationals to fill vacancies in their companies. “By making it harder to employ skilled non-EU nationals, the government is putting a brake on the growth of the economy”, says Danvers Baillieu of Privax. This view was echoed by numerous others, with one in 10 stressing the need for far more relaxed visa rules, particularly for tech and IT specialists from non-EU countries.
Turning closer to home, this month’s Leap 100 survey asked about the quality of education in the UK, and whether more needs to be done to improve STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) take-up. Nearly 70 per cent struggle to find enough skilled workers to fill vacancies, and four out of five believe that the government needs to prioritise students taking up STEM subjects. Fraser Smeaton, founder of MorphCostumes, stressed that, while it isn’t impossible to find skilled software engineers, it is expensive: “training more people in STEM subjects would help address this over the long term, making Britain more competitive and innovative”.

  • Do you struggle to find enough skilled workers to fill job vacancies?
  • Is Britain's education system fit for purpose?
  • Do you think that the government should prioritise students taking up STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths)?
    Don't know
    None of the above
  • Would you consider taking on an apprentice?
    Yes – definitely
    Yes – but only with more government support
    No – it’s not appropriate for my business
    I already have an apprentice
  • Do you rely on non-UK nationals to fill vacancies in your company?
The Leap 100 Comments
We need to move with the times, using mediums such as LinkedIn and great new sites like – new avenues to discover outstanding talent
Giles Brook - Bear Nibbles
(Founding partner)
Government must focus on software development skills in schools... it’s as important to the UK as the industrial revolution was
Nick Harding - Lending Works
(Chief executive)