The way we work, future job roles and required skills are changing rapidly due to digital transformation.

Businesses are adapting their workforces to work more smartly alongside new technologies and become more productive.

This was the story reflected in the results of the latest Doncaster Business Insight Survey which showed that more than a third of firms (35%) said a higher percentage of their workforce would be employed in skilled/highly skilled jobs in three years time. In relation, there was an increase in firms saying they had investment plans for training.

Interestingly, 40% of respondents said they had had difficulty recruiting over the last three months; particularly for higher skilled and professional roles.  And 29% of firms said recruitment was more of a concern than three months ago.

Lee Tillman, Assistant Director of Strategy & Performance, Doncaster Council commented:  “We want more Doncaster residents to be able to access opportunities created by growth but there are long-standing issues / difficulties around a lack of the right skills in our workforce.

“Doncaster is addressing this by developing key educational institutions – the National College for High Speed  Rail, Doncaster College, 360 Degrees Media film and television studio and training academy at High Melton and the Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals but it will take more than three years for these to completely address this issue.

A key piece of the puzzle must be the training that Doncaster firms are undertaking themselves – their investment in their workforce to upskill them.”

The survey also questioned businesses on how they are performing in areas such as sales, orders, cash flow, price and turnover. In general, the results showed a slowdown of UK and export sales and orders, as well as turnover, profitability, and cash flow.

Brexit is a concern for many businesses and a quarter of all respondents will take some form of action to revise recruitment, investment or import/export plans.

The expectation of future price increases has risen since last quarter, with 25% firms reporting a slight increase in raw material costs. Inflation is a concern for 10% of firms.

Over 150 Doncaster firms took part in the survey which gives a snapshot of the local economy and business sentiment. Their feedback will be used to help shape regional and national policy and support for the local business community.

For every survey taken by a firm with a DN postcode, £1 is given to a local charity; this last quarter, The Children’s Sleep Charity were the benefactors.

The Doncaster Business Insight Survey is run by Doncaster Chamber with the backing of Doncaster Council and sponsored by ProAktive. The results feed into the British Chambers of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey which polls around 10k businesses each quarter to monitor business trends.

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