Acas uses cookies to ensure we give you the best experience and to make the site simpler. Find out more about cookies.

Website URL :

Half of UK workers think that getting people with the right skills will be the biggest issue faced by their workplace in the year ahead

Monday 07 January 2019

New research from workplace experts, Acas, has revealed that over half of workers (53%) believe that getting the right people with the right skills will be the biggest issue faced by their workplace in the year ahead.

Acas commissioned YouGov to find out what UK employees identified as the most important workplace issues in the year ahead. The other two top issues identified were technological change (36%) and productivity (36%).

Acas Chief Exec, Susan Clews, said:

"Employees feel that getting workers with the right skills is a key concern in the year ahead. This could be attributed to uncertainty around our relationship with the EU at the moment or general concerns around skills shortages.

"Technological change is also on people's minds and we have found that if it is not managed well then it can cause stress and impact workplace relations.

"It is unsurprising that productivity continues to be a top concern in UK workplaces. We believe a well-managed and innovative workplace that encourages employee engagement can help improve the UK's low productivity and make the most of people's skills."

Acas has done a lot of work on the UK's productivity puzzle with advice and a diagnostic tool for organisations. For more information, please visit: Building Productivity in the UK.

Acas published research in 2017 which revealed how technological advances at work can have wide ranging and often overlooked implications for employment relations and health and wellbeing: pdf icon Mind Over Machines: New technology and employment relations [584kb].

Other issues identified by participants in the poll included fit and healthy staff (18%) and Equality and Fairness (17%).

Notes to editors

1. The YouGov poll took place between 13th December to 21st December 2018 and surveyed 2035 employees below senior-manager level. Participants were asked to pick the three biggest issues faced by their current workplace in 2019. The full results were:

  • Getting the right people with the right skills (53%)

  • Productivity (36%)

  • Technological change (36%)

  • Fit and healthy staff (18%)

  • Equality and fairness (17%)

  • Other (16%)

  • Not applicable - I don't think there will be any issues faced by my current workplace in the next year (15%)

  • Don't Know (6%)

  • Tackling sexual harassment (3%)

2. Acas stands for Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. Acas provides free and impartial information and advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law. We support good relationships between employers and employees which underpin business success. We also provide good value, high quality training and tailored advice to employers. Our expertise is based on millions of contacts with employers and employees each year. Acas is an independent and impartial statutory body governed by a Council made up of members from business, trade unions, academia and the law.

3. For media enquiries please contact Shumon Ali-Rahman on 0330 109 3642 / For out of hours media enquiries please call the out of hours duty press officer on 0330 109 7070.