Our ongoing collaboration with City & Guilds has continued with the release of an extremely timely report — Skills Index 2021. The report, which includes a survey of over 1,000 employers collected by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), explores which skills have seen growth over the past year, and which skills are emerging across the labour market in the UK.
The Index sorts skills into technical, common, emerging and certified skills, and they are ranked according to the increase in total share of job postings between 2019 and 2020. Unsurprisingly, given the nature of the upheaval over the last year, they are dominated by skills that are either directly related to the health response to Covid-19, or indirectly to some of the changes to life and working practices that we have seen. For instance, the Top 3 in each category are as follows:
- Technical Skills: Nursing; Mental health support; Warehousing
- Common Skills: Teaching; Leadership; Compassion
- Emerging Skills: Basic life support; Search form (programming); Telecommuting (0.18%)
- Certified skills: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner; Master of Business Administration (MBA); Nurse Practitioner.
Alongside the Skills Index itself, the report also reveals a number of interesting findings from the BCC employer survey. For instance:
- 56% of employers said they face some kind of barrier to meeting their skills and talent needs
- 28% cited the mismatch between the skills they need, and the skills people gain through school and education
- 61% of working age adults don’t feel they are equipped with all the skills they will need to unlock new opportunities over the next five years.
The findings bolster the message both City & Guilds and Emsi have been saying for some time, which is that there needs to be a greater emphasis on lifelong learning to give both individuals and employers the skills they need to succeed, with all of this underpinned by a better understanding of which actual skills are in-demand, and which are emerging.
According to Kirstie Donnelly MBE, CEO of City & Guilds Group, the results make it clear that both employers and employees are struggling to keep pace with the rapid changes in skills, which will require a radical rethink about training:
“Solving this skills mismatch requires a shift in mindset from the individuals themselves as well as employers and the UK Government. It is no longer possible to leave full time education at 18 or 21 and never reskill again, we will require people and businesses to upskill and reskill throughout their working lives.”
Emsi UK’s Managing Director, Andy Durman at Emsi UK:
Not only do we need to help people to understand the skills they possess and those they need to develop, but we also need to help employers understand the skills they need to succeed, and help education providers understand which skills they need to teach to prepare people for a changed labour market. Skills are the foundation blocks of our future, so it is time for us to rethink, reimagine and rebuild the labour market upon them.”