Contingent workers have a crucial role to play in addressing STEM skills shortages in defence – but firms are beginning to struggle sourcing this critical talent.

That’s according to the latest research report from experts in workforce solutions, Guidant Global.

According to the research report – Delivering the Defence Workforce of the Future – more than half (58%) of defence businesses rely on contingent workers, with 10% of those that don’t indicating intentions to do so in the near future.

This is largely being driven by a lack of talent, with 63% of firms stating that contingent resources play a critical role in responding to emerging skills shortages.

Despite this, employers are still struggling to hire these flexible resources. More than half (53%) are currently finding it difficult to attract and retain quality contingent workers while a further 42% are facing difficulties sourcing specialist or niche skills in this segment of the workforce.

This latest news comes at a time when the UK Government has put the spotlight on Defence, committing to increase spending on the sector to 2.5% ‘as soon as economic conditions allow’. According to Guidant Global, with contingent resources so critical in maintaining the UK’s strength in defence, more attention and resources need to be channelled into boosting access to this segment of the workforce.

Joel Forrester, Client Solutions Director at Guidant Global and Army Veteran explained, “It is certainly encouraging to see the Government’s announcement during the Spring Budget that investment in the sector will increase.

However, it is going to be essential that these funds are utilised efficiently to maximise its impact on the UKs defences. That includes supporting not just permanent skills development, but also aiding access to contingent workers.

“Employers across the sector need to efficiently attract and engage contingent workers if they are to address STEM skills shortages on a more immediate basis.

That does include utilising more external partners with the connections in the STEM contingent workforce outside of the defence sector, as well as diverse recruitment specialists that can help expand talent pools. Now is the time to act to ensure the UK’s legacy of defence innovation remains intact, and contingent workforce solutions will be critical to bridging skills gaps now and in the future.”

Source link