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Applicants not up to job

The boss of telecoms firm has criticised the quality of people applying for jobs at his business.

Aidan Piper, managing director of Welcomm Communications, of Market Harborough, says he is having “a nightmare” finding eight sales staff.

He said the company is looking to take on another 12 people over the next year and fears its expansion plans could be harmed.

“We are just not getting the quality,” he said. “We can’t grow without quality people.”

“There are a lot of people coming to us with poor-quality qualifications and not good enough basic English and maths.”

“We would always get lots of CVs. Over the past few years it has got more and more difficult to find decent people and this year it’s a nightmare.“


“This is supposedly at a time when there are lots of people who are unemployed and looking for work.”

Welcomm, which employs about 50 people, have used recruitment agencies to help find staff. The company, based at The Point, off Rockingham Road, Market Harborough, manages some 40,000 small and medium-sized business customers for the O2 mobile phone network around the Midlands.

Mr Piper wants to grow the business by launching new products and buying rival firms.

It is among a number of county firms which are being affected by skills shortages, despite the high number of unemployed people in the county.

Last week, machine manufacturer Ridgway Machines, of Anstey, said it was struggling to fill vacancies. Technical director Andy Glanville said they needed to recruit five people, including a sales manager and a skilled engineering post.

“The quality is just not out there,” he said.

Martin Traynor; chief executive of Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce, has warned the skills gap is the single biggest threat to the Leicestershire economy.

A chamber of commerce survey suggests 45% of county firms are looking to recruit over the next three months.

Chamber bosses say the number of jobs available in the county has returned back to pre-recession levels after increasing by 500 to about 19,200 last month.

The number of people in the county claiming jobseeker’s allowance rose by 547 to 22,854 last month.

Article details:

Publication: Leicester Mercury, Business Supplement

Warning: fears skills gap is biggest threat to economy

By Ian Griffin

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