By Jonathan Davies

Half of UK businesses plan to expand their workforce in 2015, according to a study by the CBI.

The business lobby group said firms are also planning to hire more permanent staff than temporary ones, with all nations and regions set to see employment numbers rise. The CBI also said there are better prospects for younger people in 2015, as well.

But despite the positive outlook for the creation of jobs, the CBI said that businesses might find it difficult to fill positions due to a growing skills gap.

There was more good news on pay, with the CBI expecting wages to rise in real-terms in 2015, albeit at a "cautious" rate.

The CBI's deputy director general, Katja Hall, said: "We want to see everyone enjoy the rewards of the economic recovery."

"Growth should work for everyone, and skills are the key route to ensuring that this happens through improved productivity and pay.

"It's a concern that the UK's growing skills gap is now seen as the number one workforce threat to the long-term health of its economy.

"Companies and the government need to work together to find ways to develop skills within the workforce and help employees move into higher skilled and better paid jobs."

TUC general secretary, Frances O'Grady, said:"After seven years of falling wages and few decent pay rises on offer, Britain's workers are set to wait years for their living standards to get back to where they were before the financial crisis.

"We need stronger growth and better labour market regulation, to ensure that the rewards of the recovery are fairly shared and to avoid getting stuck with a low value, cut-price economy."

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