• Andrew Engeli

Devon Workforce Skills Survey

In 2016, Devon County Council commissioned Wavehill to conduct a representative survey of the business population in the area to better understand the patterns of vacancies, recruitment, skills demands and needs, and training provision. The firmographics reveal a representative sample of businesses in Devon; the sampling strategy reduced the number of sole proprietorships and single employee businesses contained in the survey, preferring to increase the proportion of firms interviewed that have employees and to which the principal questions are pertinent. Details of those businesses are given in the first section of this report. Overall, the survey engaged 420 respondents across the Devon area and the results yield rich and informative snapshot of vacancies, skills gaps and needs, training, and training provision. Key findings from the report include:

  • Three out of five Devon businesses have experienced vacancies in the last twelve months and the Devon labour market remains relatively fluid

  • In comparison to the 2013 DWSS, we find that the rate of hard to fill vacancies has increased.

  • The business impacts of hard to fill vacancies are clear, with increased workloads for existing staff continuing to dominate the preoccupations of employers

  • There is a clear preference among potential employers for experienced or skilled workers.

  • In general, employers report that they do not experience much difficulty in retaining their existing workforce in the Devon area

  • Businesses are increasingly seeing digital skills as important, and are emphasising them during the recruitment and training process

  • While gaps remain, the general level of satisfaction at the preparedness for work of recruits is quite high

  • Training has been mainly focused on job and sector specific skills and we find that there are generally very high levels of satisfaction with external training programmes

For more information please contact Andrew Engeli