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Skills Shortages in the UK Economy
April 18, 2019

The latest Skills Shortage Bulletin from The Edge Foundation. Links is now available.

OLLY NEWTON, Director of Policy and Research, Edge Foundation explains what is in the bulletin:

In this edition, we look at the current state of the labour market through research by CIPD. This suggests that, with so many graduates in non- graduate jobs and workers not making full use of their skills, as many as half (49%) of UK workers could be in the wrong job, based on their skill level.

Research from Edge, Education & Employers and the National Education Union sets out definitively the skills employers are looking for and where teachers are doing their best to instil them. This is in spite of current education policy with nearly half (47%) of teachers believing there are fewer opportunities to develop employability skills in the reformed GCSEs and two thirds (66%) that there are fewer opportunities to develop creativity.

Turning to the future of work, leading research from RSA and the World Economic Forum (WEF) shows how, from autonomous vehicles to cancer- detecting algorithms, every corner of the economy has begun to feel the heat of a new machine age. The RSA points to widespread anxiety about mass automation and notes that less than 5% of respondents felt that schools, colleges and universities are very well prepared. Meanwhile, the WEF points out that as well as the growth in high-tech skills there will also be a premium on human skills like creativity, originality, persuasion and negotiation, reinforcing the messages from earlier research. Both agree that we need to take an active role in shaping the future.

Finally, we take a detailed look at the hospitality sector, particularly topical in light of the current debates around Brexit. Overall, the industry is twice the size of financial services and yet research from UK Hospitality shows that it is common for there to be more than 100,000 vacancies in the sector at any time, with one of the highest proportions of hard to fill vacancies of any sector.

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