The number of unfilled jobs has increased by 130% since 2011, according to the data, with some sectors facing an acute shortage of skilled workers, include water, utilities and construction.
Dr Adam Marshall, executive director of policy at the British Chambers of Commerce said: "This report highlights what we in the business community have been saying for some time. It is clear that a shortage of skills is preventing businesses from reaching their full potential, and hurts productivity.
"Politicians and business will ignore this at their peril. The Government needs to focus on the quality of apprenticeships, not the quantity - which will not help the next generation progress.
"Furthermore, this report shows now is not the time to introduce an Immigrant Skills Charge, as recently proposed by the Migration Advisory Committee.
"Businesses are currently experiencing acute skills shortages and we shouldn't further handicap them by increasing the cost of recruiting the talent they need."
Douglas McCormick, one of the group's commissioners, said: "The UK has witnessed exceptionally strong job creation in the past few years, creating jobs at a faster rate than any other EU country.
"However, this growth has been accompanied by stalling productivity levels. Evidence from the survey suggests that developing the skills of the existing workforce to taking advantage of new technology and digitisation will be critical if the UK is to finally close the productivity gap."