In order to expand, many companies rely on being able to hire skilled workers so they are capable of taking on more custom. There is nothing wrong with this in theory, but businesses can hit a major hurdle if there is a shortage of potential employees with the talents and knowledge needed for the role.
Skills shortages can have massive effects on UK industry, and there are concerns the country might be in the grip of one right now. Based on the latest research, it would certainly seem like London has a problem with a lack of skilled employees.
A survey conducted by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and KPMG found that almost half (45 per cent) of firms in the UK capital said they were experiencing a skills shortage. Furthermore, 66 per cent of firms said they had experienced difficulty recruiting highly skilled people.
Richard Reid, London chairman of KPMG, said: "As we finally move into a period of more sustained growth, many businesses, including our own, face a larger skills deficit and could struggle to find the talent they need to grow and prosper. The war for talent is getting increasingly complex."
So what do businesses need to do in order to avoid falling into this trap? The simple answer is training. If you can increase the knowledge and skill level of your workers well in advance of expansion, you will not have to hunt down new employees with the talents you require.
It is often better to have more highly skilled workers than you need. You might end up paying a bit more in wages, but it means you are able to expand easily by hiring entry-level, unskilled employees.
There are other options, such as hiring workers from overseas, but the CBI/KPMG survey found that 56 per cent of businesses in London say the visa system needs to be reformed in order to allow this. Overall, training up workers is one of the best ways to break the UK skills shortage.