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Owner-manager businesses more worried about skills than Brexit

Business | Published:

The latest research by accountants Moore Stephens shows more owner-managed businesses in the Channel Islands are concerned about a shortage of skilled staff than Brexit.

Philip Callow of Moore Stephens

While the local response to the 2018 survey of OMBs was similar to that in the UK, it differed over the biggest concern. More than half the respondents in the islands considered a short of skilled staff the key concern, compared to 41% of businesses in the UK.

Phillip Callow, managing director at Moore Stephens Audit & Assurance, said: ‘The focus of CI businesses on skills could be down to it being more challenging for the Channel Islands to bring skilled professionals to the islands or to train our own. Of course, this situation could also become even more difficult post-Brexit.’

Despite 60% of UK and Channel Island OMBs being confident in the general outlook for 2018, a high number (78% in the UK and 75% in the Channel Islands) were concerned about the strength of the UK economy in 2018.

‘Our report shows confidence is lacking around the stability of the UK economy, which in itself brings uncertainty,’ according to Mr Callow. ‘OMBs need certainty to be able to develop their business and will be hit harder if the economy suffers once the UK leaves the European Union.

‘This uncertainty could be the reason why only 20% of Channel Island OMBs are planning to invest in new technology or IT systems. This shows that issues surrounding Brexit and business are not isolated. They have knock-on effects.’

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