As per a latest report published by the University of Oxford, the UK M&A activity is set to experience huge levels of growth over the next five years . The driver behind this increase is attributed to talent acquisition. In accordance with a recent report published by PwC, 75% of UK CEOs feel that skills shortages pose the greatest threat to their businesses. Due to a lack of suitable settled workers, many CEOs are opting to press ahead with M&A in an effort to bridge the ever growing gap. Out of the more than 1,300 CEOs who took part in the investigation, 10 per cent more are concerned about shortages in 2015 than they were the previous year. Over 25 per cent openly admitted that talent acquisition is their main driver for M&A activity.

“Despite rising business confidence and ambitious hiring plans, organisations are struggling more than ever to find the right people with the right skills to achieve their growth plans. The digital age has transformed the skills shortage from a nagging worry for CEOs into something more challenging,” said Jon Andrews, leader of PwC’s global people and organisation practice.

China is forecast to have the biggest surge in M&A activity at 153 per cent, followed by Hong Kong (118 per cent), The Netherlands (110 per cent), Mexico (89 per cent), India (72 per cent), the UK (70 per cent), Germany (65 per cent), Indonesia (56 per cent), Saudi Arabia (53 per cent) and the UAE (50 per cent).

“Businesses are faced with a complex and shifting world. They desperately need people with strong skills that are adaptable and can work across different industries, but these people are hard to find. Organisations can no longer continue to recruit people as they’ve always done – they need to be looking in new places, geographies and from new pools of talent,” continued Andrews.“Businesses also need to make use of data to understand exactly what skills they need, and where they will need them, to focus their future hiring efforts.”