UK Skills Gap - A Recruiter's Perspective!

Dan Whitelegg wrote an excellent article "UK Skills Shortage, A Recruiters Guide" and I have extracted some of the key observations relative to the tech skills gap.

What's the state of the skills gap in the UK?

According to Whitelegg, The UK is currently in the midst of a much-publicized skill shortage. Skilled candidates are "supposedly" becoming hard to find and the recruitment industry is under pressure to meet employer demands and aid economic growth.

So where are recruiters finding candidate shortages? Skill shortages are prevalent across a diverse range of sectors. From STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) skills to a demand to meet public sector needs.

Where are the skills shortages most acute?

Digital / IT According to Dan, Developing technologies are one of the leading causes of skill shortages and mismatching, making IT and digital disciplines particularly tricky to recruit for. As a proportion of GDP, the UK has the largest internet-influenced economy of the G-20 countries and digital / IT recruitment is set to be the greatest of all sectors by the end of the decade.

In the 2014 / 2015 academic year, there were 63,470 Computer Science undergraduates, however it is estimated that an additional -

766,000 digital jobs are to be created by 2020.

This, when combined with the fact that computer science graduates have the highest unemployment rate of all degree types, suggests that there will be a substantial skill deficit for technology related jobs.

Dan summarized his advice to UK recruiters as follows:

Key points:

  • The number of unemployed people for every vacancy in the UK is falling. The figure is currently 2.2 people per vacancy.

  • Skill mismatching is a problem, with 1.5 million people under-qualified to perform their present job role. Conversely, 4.6 million people are over-qualified.

  • Digital, Construction and Care sectors are suffering the biggest shortages of talent.

  • Recruiters will have to up their networking skills in order to cope with the pressures. Relationships are king.

  • Less conventional social media platforms, such as Pinterest and Instagram, offer less competitive markets.

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