But CII survey finds the gap has narrowed

More than half of general insurance firms are suffering from skills shortages, according to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Insurers (CII).

The survey of 2,300 CII members and employers revealed 59% of firms are experiencing skills shortages this year.

London Market is the worst afflicted – some 68% of respondents reported a shortage of technical skills.

Across the general insurance disciplines, 60% reported a skills shortage in claims, 52% in underwriting and 59% in broking.

The 59% market average was a 14-point drop on 2012, and the lowest figure since the Skills Survey began in 2007.

Some 54% of those polled predicted they would spend more on training and recruitment because of the skills shortages, and 49% said they would be looking for new staff in the coming year – up from 43% last year.

CII public affairs manager Daniel Pedley said: “Four years ago we were witnessing firms shrinking their workforce and being creative with smaller training and development budgets. Today, in contrast, we have employers predicting increased headcount and a willingness to up spending on training. In this respect our survey can be seen as an economic barometer predicting better weather ahead.

“As the world economy begins to turn, are we prepared for any potential global squeeze on skills that arises? Clearly, getting the skills mix right is a moving target and being able to adapt to meet the challenges yet to come is something we must all be mindful of.”