Close

Labour market

Access to skills and labour is one of the most important issues facing UK business communities right now. We do research on a range of issues affecting the labour market, including skills, training, and employment policy.

The Chamber Network also produces an annual Workforce Survey covering the most relevant topics relating to employers and their staff. Read some of our most recent work on the UK's labour market.

Workforce Survey 2018: UK set for a pay rise

Workforce Survey 2018: UK set for a pay rise

One in two businesses (50%) are set to grant staff pay rises of over 2% in the next year, according to a new survey by the BCC and online recruitment company Indeed.

The survey, of over 1,000 businesses of all sizes and sectors, reveals that 6% of firms will increase pay by more than 5%, 32% by 2-5%, 12% in line with consumer price inflation, and 18% by 1-2%.

Only 2% of firms say that they expect to decrease salaries – set against a backdrop of increasing upfront business costs.


Find out more
Workforce Survey 2018: Training and flexible working key to staff retention

Workforce Survey 2018: Training and flexible working key to staff retention

Aside from staff pay, firms are more likely to increase their investment in training, and introduce more flexible working practices, in order to retain staff, according to a survey by the British Chambers of Commerce and recruitment company Indeed.

The survey, of over 1,000 businesspeople across all sizes and sectors, shows that just under half (42%) of businesses would invest in training and developing their staff in order to increase staff retention, while 38% would look to introduce flexible working practices, from flexible hours and remote working to job-sharing.





Find out more
Workforce Survey 2017: Apprenticeship Levy

Workforce Survey 2017: Apprenticeship Levy

BCC’s annual workforce survey, held in partnership with Middlesex University London, found that six months after its introduction, businesses are still in the dark about how best to utilise the Apprenticeship Levy.

The research found that nearly a quarter (23%) of levy-paying firms have no understanding of the Apprenticeship Levy or don’t know how their company will respond to it. Businesses with a pay-bill of less than £3m fall under the levy threshold but can still apply for apprentice funding, yet the findings of the survey show 66% of these companies haven’t taken any direct action to use the funds or don’t know about it.

The findings reinforce the need for clearer guidance and support for businesses wanting to utilise the Apprenticeship Levy.


Find out more here
Workforce Survey 2017: Skills Shortages

Workforce Survey 2017: Skills Shortages

BCC’s workforce survey of over 1,400 businesses, held in partnership with Middlesex University London, reveals that half of UK businesses have faced skills or labour shortages in the last year, but only a minority are actively looking overseas to fill vacancies.

According to the findings of the survey, two-in-five (40%) UK businesses have employees from other EU countries on their workforce, while 23% have employees from outside the EU. 38% of businesses say future restrictions on the rights of EU nationals to work in the UK would have a negative impact on their business.

The results challenge the myth that UK firms are ignoring local workers in favour of overseas labour.


Find out more here
Workforce Survey 2017: Impact of Employment Costs

Workforce Survey 2017: Impact of Employment Costs

The survey, held in partnership with Middlesex University London, reveals that pensions auto-enrolment, National Living Wage and the Apprenticeship Levy have increased the cost base of businesses, and could lead to reduced opportunities for investment and wage growth.

The rise in the National Living Wage (NLW) in April of 2017 has increased employment costs for one-in-two companies (50%) in the UK. There appears to be a North/South divide, with firms in the North of England (55%) and the Midlands (51%) more likely to be impacted by the National Living Wage than firms in the South (43%).

The BCC is calling on the government to ensure no new upfront costs or taxes – which sap investment, growth and recruitment potential – are imposed on business for the remainder of this parliament.

Find out more
BCC responds to Migration Advisory Committee call for evidence

BCC responds to Migration Advisory Committee call for evidence

The BCC has responded to the Call for Evidence on the Migration Advisory Committee's commission to examine the economic and social impact of the UK's exit from the European Union, and on how the UK's immigration system should be aligned with a modern Industrial Strategy.

The evidence provided in this submission is based on the results of the BCC’s 2017 Workforce Survey. In the report, we have included evidence submitted by Accredited Chambers of Commerce highlighting the results of engagement with businesses in their locality and the needs of individual regions and sectors.

The BCC has made recommendations on three key areas:

  • Access to Skills and Labour
  • Certainty
  • Low Skilled Workers, Sector Deal and Student
Find out more
The BCC is campaigning to fix the fundamentals of the UK economy:

The BCC is campaigning to fix the fundamentals of the UK economy:


Many of the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the UK economy, including the growing skills gap, have little or nothing to do with the UK’s departure from the European Union.
Find out more
BCC: rail review must bring tangible and visible improvements for passengers and business communities

Hannah Essex, co-Executive Director at the British Chambers of Commerce comments on the ‘root and branch’ review of the railway network launched by government today.

BCC comments on inflation statistics

Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) comments on the inflation statistics for August 2018, published today by the Office for National Statistics.

BCC comments on MAC report recommendations

Jane Gratton, Head of Business Environment and Skills at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) comments on the Migration Advisory Committee’s report on EEA migration.

BCC: UK growth forecasts downgraded as Brexit uncertainty hits investment and trade

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has today (Monday) downgraded its growth expectations for the UK economy, forecasting GDP growth for 2018 at just 1.1% (down from 1.3%). The BCC has also downgraded its GDP growth forecast for 2019 from 1.4% to 1.3%.