The UK skills gap – what it means for young people

Skills gap

You may have heard the term ‘skills gap’ before and wondered what it meant exactly, but more importantly, what it means for you. A ‘skills gap’ essentially means there is a particular skill that an employer requires but there are not enough people trained in that particular skill to fill the role.

This shortage in skills may also be negatively impacted by the Brexit outcome and potential change in migration laws. All of this could spell bad news for employers who are struggling to fill certain positions, however this could be great news for young people currently looking to obtain those skills and make themselves a desirable candidate.

For a young person deciding early on in their education or career which path to go down and which skills would be of most benefit to an employer, understanding the current situation in the ‘UK skills gap’ could be the key to success.

What jobs currently have a shortage of people with the right skills? 

Knowing which specific jobs and the set of skills required to perform them could focus your studies in the right direction. Here is a comprehensive guide to the jobs which are currently available and which employers are struggling to find the right candidates with the necessary skills – click here.

Another area which is in need of skilled workers is in the trades we are all familiar with – plumbers, electricians and builders. It would probably surprise a lot of people to know that these trades are currently classed under the ‘UK skills gap’ category and The Federation of Master Builders’ State of Trade Survey 2017  discovered that around 40% of construction enterprises (SMEs) are struggling to find workers to fill those gaps, which is currently at its lowest since 2013.

One of the reasons why there is a shortage of skilled workers in these areas of trade could come down to a negative reputation they sometimes reflect. When it comes to salary, the average wage of a fully qualified electrician is over £30,000 per annum – this is higher than the national average.

How would I train to become skilled in one of these trades? 

There are quite a few different ways you can gain the skills to become an electrician, plumber or builder for example. A college course would be the obvious route, but there are also online courses which some may find more convenient.

An apprenticeship is often one of the best routes to gaining the necessary skills for these types of trades, as you are learning hands on whilst also being paid for your efforts. UKtradeskills.org have a great website which allows you to choose the trade you are interested in and send them your details to match up with a selected UK trades training provider. There are lots of these types of websites that will make it simple and easy to get lots of information on the types of courses available, and the route to take in order to become fully qualified in a particular trade.

For additional information on how to become a plumber you could also visit the City and Guilds website. They also have great information on how to become a builder.

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