Change and employment

In a recent seminar in Manchester Stephen Taylor of the University of Exeter gave an insightful presentation on how employment is changing.

The scale of change in employment occupations is marked. In the last 15 years jobs in the managerial and professional sector of the UK have grown by nearly 20%. Meanwhile those in skilled, semi skilled and unskilled occupations (still the majority) have fallen by 10%. Only the caring and leisure sector has shown a (small) increase in unskilled jobs.

Meanwhile the supply of labour looks to decrease while the increasing demand for jobs requiring degree level and above looks set to continue.

Also meanwhile levels of numeracy, literacy and problem solving ability in 16 to 24 year olds are mostly well below OECD international averages. The OECD countries represent major competitors in the future.

Serious shortages of labour in the managerial and professional occupations look inevitable over the next five to ten years.

What to do?

In our view employers will need to give increased attention to attracting and retaining good employees. It means becoming an employer of choice and also a first class selector of candidates. In other words, improving recruitment and selection techniques may become crucial.

Education and training within employment need to come back to the fore. Employers will need to give consideration to bringing employees’ basic capabilities up to the standards of international competitors. The good news is that when it comes to problem solving skills in a technology-rich environment UK adults are above average; even the 16-24 year olds fare a bit better there.

Self employment has grown and that often means lower investment in education and training as the self employed sacrifice training for new skills in favour of immediate earnings. Employers will need to think carefully before outsourcing skills that may change with technology. Self employed people need to think seriously about how they maintain their own development.

We want to help

Whether it is on recruitment, selection, retention, employer of choice, or training, Employer Solutions is ready to help.

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