More than 20 per cent of job vacancies in the West Midlands and the North West exist because there is a lack of people with the skills suitable for the positions.
This is according to a survey of over 74,000 companies conducted by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES)
It showed that mid-sized companies are struggling to find the right candidates to fill roles.
Although it did not rule out of the possibility of freelancers and specialist contractors stepping into the fray to breach the skills gap.
Neil McLean, commissioner at the UKCES, said: “There are worrying signs that the country is experiencing a skills 'squeezed middle’, with core nucleus of hungry, medium-sized firms finding it difficult to employ staff with the skills they need.
“As a group, these mid-sized firms are weathering the recession pretty well – indeed, they have continued to recruit over the past four years. They are undoubtedly our best hope for growth. Yet these businesses are often overlooked by policy-makers in favour of entrepreneurial start-ups or huge multinationals.”