Worker shortages could cost the UK economy £30 billion per year, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has predicted.

The REC has also warned that productivity and wage growth will be lower and inflation will increase unless action is taken.

Askar Sheibani, managing director and CEO of Comtek Network Systems and chairman of Deeside Business Forum (DBF) believes the shortage of workers is “terrifying for our economy.”

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Within his own company the impact of worker shortages has led to the implementation of a new apprenticeship scheme in coordination with Glyndwr University and the Welsh Government.

After a successful launch in January, the company is recruiting 12 apprentices per year that will complete four days at the company and one day at Glyndwr University working with the electrical and engineering department.

The CEO believes this is a long term solution to worker shortages and allows businesses to invest in highly skilled people.

He said: “We are getting young, bright, enthusiastic, locally based applicants that are going through all the scrutiny and interviews and proving highly successful.

"They are the future leaders of the industry.”

The business mogul predicts that with the introduction of apprentices, in 12 months, the company will have dealt with its shortages, which currently stand at around 20 people.

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He added: “They are local people with local roots that are loyal.

"These are the best people to have in the industry.”

Mr Sheibani is urging all industries “as long as they are in the right sector to take advantage of this Welsh government policy.”

He believes that “jobs should be an interesting path for your future and wellbeing and should be something you can be proud of as well as interested in and enjoy.”

REC has called for the apprenticeship levy to be redesigned, work visas to be extended to five years, and local transport to be designed to support employment.

REC said its study suggests that with a 10% increase in demand in the economy, and the labour market restricted by shortages, the UK economy would shrink by between 1.2% and 1.6% by 2027, relative to where it would be without these shortages.

This could cost the economy between £30 billion and £39 billion every year, it said.

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Chief executive of the REC, Neil Carberry said: “We haven’t had to look far for evidence that labour shortages have the power to bring segments of the UK economy to their knees recently.

“From chaos at airports to driver shortages and NHS waiting lists growing – the underlying issue of labour shortages has burst out into the open.

“The modelling we are launching today shows the damage that could be done if we don’t solve these shortages – more than £30 billion in lost potential every year, as well as lower productivity, lower wage growth and rising inflation.”

He said companies should prioritise workforce planning, invest in skills and treat recruitment with the importance it deserves.