The global financial and economic crisis has led to alarmingly high unemployment and underemployment in many European Union (EU) countries. Yet, surveys still find that more than one in three employers has problems filling vacancies. The latest European company survey, in spring 2013, found that about 40% of firms across the EU had difficulties finding staff with the right skills. A 2010 Eurobarometer survey found some 33% of employers identifying a shortage of applicants with the right skills as their main challenge in filling vacancies.

Manpower’s 2013 survey also found that, on average across 17 Member States, more than 25% of employers reported recruitment difficulties. Some 34% of these employers cite a lack of technical competences while 19% believe candidates also lack workplace skills.

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