Are You in Demand? The Job Auction chats UK Skill Shortages.
The United Kingdom faces new challenges in the job market year-on-year and with the development of new technologies as well as spikes in consumer habits these challenges come in various forms. The most consistent of these is that of labour shortage. More often than not this is caused simply by the right candidate not being available. For whatever reason, perhaps due to lack of proper information or interest, there are voids in some markets due to the lack of candidates with the appropriate skills. In this piece we’ll examine which skills are currently in the highest demand and what you can do to acquire the skills.
There is more money than ever before to be made. With the UK chugging away as the sixth largest economy in the world there needs to be more men and women to work with the growing sets of numbers. Finance is a sector with countless job titles under it but even the most obvious ones like accountants and statisticians, these roles have talent vacuums. London, despite being bulging at the seems with financial warriors, can, it seems, always do more, with a need for mathematical talent that is 55% above the national average. With the ever-growing mega city that London is, is it any surprise?
What to do
Luckily because we live in a modern society, roles that were once reserved for those who had completed higher education are now available to all thanks to the UCAS system. If you are a school leaver it’s recommended that you have at least 112 UCAS points before signing up to an ICM for example (Investment Management Course). There are further courses such as accountancy that requires similar scores but careers with household name banks often require 126 UCAS points, the equivalent to a 2:1.
With the population growing there will always be a need for more housing as well as more buildings to match the consummation habits of the citizens of the UK. For example Aldi announced recently that they will be opening a new store every week. Obviously some will inhabit old warehouse spaces but this constant cycle of rejuvenation our consummation habits are in will create a need for a skilled and plentiful workforce in the construction industry. There has also been high wage growth in this area, a tactic some firms have used to entice prospective employees into their workforces.
What to do
Pick a skill and stick at it. This can be from quantity surveying to being a dab hand with paint work. Construction work can come from different jobs which mean you may have to try your hand at being a sole trader or at least a freelancer of some kind. Skills within the industry can be taught on courses that require you to learn on the job but also require time spent at university. For those less inclined to move into higher education, the ropes can be learnt from the bottom up as labouring can be a tough but informative process that also gives you some idea of how each of the trades involved in construction come together. By building a good network you can build skills that may lead to management positions.
We all have to eat. In the UK there are precious few trained to a high enough standard to plate up our scran. Think of how many new restaurant chains there are regularly opening up and think of those in decline. It’s a volatile industry and with all the different types of food that may be trending in a certain decade there are then just as many cooking styles that need to be mastered. Often a need to rely on natives to cook the cuisine from their country leads to shortages, other times it can simply be a case of too high a demand due to Britain being in a golden age of casual dining. It’s no longer something people do on celebratory occasions, now restaurants are packed on weeknights and during lunch hours.
What to do
Luckily, everyone has to learn to cook at some point in their lives and unlike other skills like playing the piano or kicking a football you don’t have to be encouraged as a child to do it in order to figure out if you have an aptitude for it: if you don’t eat, you’ll starve. Still, to cook to a professional standard is a triumph and it may be that there’s more a reluctance to go into the industry itself. Instead of getting people on food hygiene courses (easy enough) it may be time to offer higher salaries and more benefits to potential new chefs to make the job seem more attractive as unlike most things a lot of people know if they have are a skilled cook or not already.
Not officially an industry in its own right just yet and something that would come under the economic strain of ‘Leisure and Other Services’ but there has been a grooming boom within the UK over the past few years (think of the new oils and creams you often see advertised.) However the most common shortages come in the forms of those who ply their trade in barbershops and beauty salons. Due to the fact that most people do their shopping online and considering it’s difficult to get a haircut via Skype, many store fronts have become available and more hairdressers than ever have sprung up in the UK.
What to do
Perhaps wrongly, the beauty industry is a young man/woman’s game and as such most businesses of this ilk require you to be youthful and with your finger on the pulse in terms of new styles and looks. A good idea if you are to get into this industry is to think creatively. Who provides a physical service to customers along the high street? Consider getting an apprenticeship in a tattoo parlour to learn a very specific skill. Furthermore vape bars are one of the newest and most profitable high street staples of the 21st century. The best advice is that avid consumers make the best proprietors. If you know your sailor tats, French crops and blueberry vape liquids, why not consider a career flogging a service you love?
Another shortage that makes sense as being alive is something that will always be in high demand. With the population growing and people living for much longer, the healthcare system in this country is under immense pressure from multiple directions. Nurse shortages are set to rise to 100,000 within the next ten years if the current rate of employment continues. As well as this, there has been a spotlight shone onto mental health services, which are chronically under funded with routes into the industry paved with confusion. Furthermore many leave the service of the NHS to pursue employment in the private sector because of the benefits and more balance between their work and their home lives.
What to do
Jobs in healthcare despite being some of the most satisfying and morally rewarding around also happen to be the most stressful. More often than not it isn’t a problem getting people into the industry; it’s a problem of retaining the staff. Once again it seems there is an issue with the packages and salaries being offered, specifically for those people on the front line of healthcare i.e. paramedics and nurses. With A&E nurses earning under £19 an hour, it isn’t easy to say that’s an acceptable rate for those men and women who save lives on the regular.
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