When presented with a list of occupational skills, 32% of Britons failed to identify a single occupation currently considered in-demand by the Government.
According to the study, conducted by Stormline, who supply wet weather gear to professionals in the engineering and science sectors, one in 10 people inccorectly believe we need more police officers, government officials or legal professionals.
A third identified teachers or social workers as in most demand. But while teachers and social workers are included on the Shortage Occupations list, they make up a relatively small fraction of the jobs on the list, which is dominated by engineering and health care.
The highest number of in-demand professions are in the STEM, health and medicine, waste management, design and arts industries.
UK Skills Gap – Perceptions vs Reality
|Skills people think we need||Correct||Incorrect||Skills we need the most||Percentage of highest demand occupations|
|Science||17%||Health (non consultant)||18%|
|Social work||13%||Health and science (teaching, consultant and research)||17%|
|Armed forces||12%||Visual effects||7%|
|Local government||5%||Contemporary dance||4%|
Perceptions of why we have a skills gap
When asked why we need to recruit from overseas to fill the skills gap, participants gave a variety of responses. Almost half believed the skills gap was due to hours or pay, 1 in 5 believed it to be linked to difficulty in qualifying, while 1 in 10 believed high danger levels or stress to be the cause.
|The jobs are low paid||26%|
|The hours are very long||23%|
|It’s too difficult to qualify||18%|
|The jobs are boring||11%|
|The jobs are dangerous||6%|
|The jobs are stressful||4%|
Regan McMilan, director of Stormline said:
“It’s surprising that so many people don’t know the industries which are crying out for skilled professionals.
“Engineering is perhaps the most high profile sector in this regard, but even so, it still appears to be a fairly low profile occupation generally. The Royal Academy of Engineering predicts we’ll need almost 2 million more engineers by 2022, so the industry could do with a profile boost now.
“There appears to be a myth that the most in-demand jobs are the ones nobody wants to do. That’s not true. Engineering, medicine, visual design and dance are all great occupations that are actually very competitive internationally.
“If people aren’t aware that we need dancers and designers as well as engineers and teachers, we’re missing a chance to attract people into these important areas of study.”