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The survey provides key information on employer demand for labour, skill deficiencies, levels of investment in training and workforce development.

It surveyed 91,210 establishments across the UK, of which 6,027 were based in Wales, it allows analysis and comparison between the four nations of the UK on the skills challenges that employers face and the training activity that they engage in.

Main findings

  • The findings illustrate a buoyancy in the labour market in Wales, with substantial growth in the number of employers active in recruitment. There was also evidence of a highly proficient workforce, with the vast majority of establishments reporting they were happy with the expertise of their staff. 
  • Employers in Wales are meeting their skills needs through the provision of training: nearly two-thirds of staff received training over the last 12 months, in line with UK figures, while investment in training has increased since 2013 and 2011.
  • Nevertheless, there remain challenges that need addressing. There has been an increase in the number of establishments in Wales experiencing recruitment difficulties due to skill shortages among applicants. Retention difficulties have increased since 2011, while under-utilisation was a widespread phenomenon. 
  • Findings also confirm a link between under-utilisation and retention issues which suggests that employers should think carefully about employee engagement and development to avoid the costs associated with poor retention such as recruitment and loss of productivity.
  • Underneath this economy-wide level, there were occupational, sectoral and regional variations in employers’ experience of skills. For example, employers in Manufacturing were more likely to be affected by skills gaps and least likely to have provided training over the past 12 months. Meanwhile, those in mid Wales experienced greater difficulties in finding workers with the right skills to fill their vacancies. 
  • Key skills for training providers to address are time management and task prioritisation, specialist skills and organisational or product knowledge.

The Wales report breaks findings down by region, sector, occupation and establishment size within Wales, whilst also making comparisons to the UK.


Employer Skills Survey, 2015: Wales , file type: PDF, file size: 5 MB

5 MB
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Datasets and interactive tools


James Carey

Telephone: 0300 025 3811

Rydym yn croesawu galwadau a gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg / We welcome calls and correspondence in Welsh.


Telephone: 0300 025 8099

Rydym yn croesawu galwadau yn Gymraeg / We welcome calls in Welsh.