Although the job market has much improved since the recession, there is still a lack of opportunities in many sectors, maintaining the competitiveness that was widespread a few years ago. However, there are some industries that are particularly suffering from a skills-shortage, a term used to describe a lack of well-trained candidates to take a growing number of roles. The UKCES Employer Skills Survey 2015 found that there were 209,500 vacancies in UK that were a result of a nationwide skills shortage, with 6% of the total amount of employers interviewed saying their vacancies had been affected by one.
Skills shortages are not all bad — there are a few advantages of working in a sector with a lack of qualified candidates for those looking for employment, such as more choice over competing roles and a higher salary to those who are skilled enough to fill them. Because of this, a career in one of these areas can be appealing option to pursue, and one which candidates should definitely consider.
So, here are 5 industries that have a skills shortage and are the most challenging areas for employers to recruit for.
Engineering Skills Shortage
The Royal Academy of Engineers estimated that they need to train 75,000 engineers every year until 2020 to keep up with industry demand, but currently only 22,000 are coming through the ranks each year. This huge shortage means that qualified engineers are highly sought after, with good salaries, plenty of choice, and bright career prospects for those who pursue a job in the sector.
A popular route into engineering is through a higher apprenticeship, which can lead to a professional qualification equivalent to a foundation degree. While candidates get the benefits of earning a qualification, they can also look forward to on-the-job experience and a wage throughout their training period.
There is information for candidates out there, like this helpful guide from Tomorrow’s Engineers, however there still remains too few young people considering this option.
Rising Accounting Vacancies
Accounting is another industry where there aren’t enough qualified candidates to fill advertised roles. The Association of Professional Staffing Companies revealed recently that there was a year-on-year rise of 10.2% in vacancies between the months of March and June 2016, showing just how much demand there was for skilled workers.
As a qualified accountant, candidates can look forward to an annual salary of around £50,000 for the first few years, with very rosy prospects of this increasing alongside their experience. The quickest route you they take into the sector is by studying for an accountancy qualification with one of the UK’s recognised bodies, like ACCA or ICAEW. The candidates can usually do this straight after college or sixth form studying part-time, allowing them to work or gain industry experience at the same time.
Logistics and material handling apprenticeships
Logistics and material handling is an often-overlooked area, but it shouldn’t be due to its status as a vital support industry to many others, such as online retail and business. Without it, many industries would not be able to function properly and would face huge problems when it comes to moving stock or warehousing. As it is often viewed as being in the background, there is an ongoing shortage of qualified staff for key roles, such as forklift truck drivers and engineers.
One of the best ways into the sector is through an apprenticeship — something that Impact Handling, a forklift engineer and driver trainer knows well. Their Group Operations Manager, John Davies, said: “On the face of it, materials handling and logistics isn’t an ultra-glamorous career. However, there’s virtually no product people buy that isn’t moved by a piece of material handling equipment at some point. It’s an indispensable industry, so a career in this area can be for life.”
An apprenticeship will allow young people to earn as they learn, as well as providing vital on-the-job experience, and there is often a guaranteed role awaiting at the end of the training period. Furthermore, thanks to the stability of the industry, there are good salary and progression prospects, and candidates will be able to transfer those skills easily to other industries.
The skills gap in construction
A key industry to the country’s infrastructure, construction suffered during the recession and lost many of its workers. As the country and the sector has recovered, the same employees have been slow to return, leaving a skills shortage that hasn’t been met.
A career in this sector can be very rewarding, offering young people the chance to work with both their hands and their head, while giving them the opportunity to see instant results with the completion of a project. It can be incredibly satisfying to know that they’ve played a part in the creation of something that could last for many years to come.
The on-going digital skills shortage
Unlike construction, the demand for IT professionals has never abated — it has simply grown and grown as the world has become increasingly digitised. You just have to look at the record amount of money that was poured into new tech start-up companies in 2015 — around £1.57 billion, according to London & Partners. But it’s not only in new companies that you will find demand for IT professionals, with almost every firm needing their own department or support from a specialist company to keep up with digital trends.
An internship with a start-up company is the way to go. Not only will candidates get great experience with the latest developments, they will get a great idea for how a company is founded, something that can come in handy should they ever want to take the plunge into owning their own start-up company. Websites like Enternships and Workinstartups list job opportunities in new companies, and there are usually plenty of areas to choose from.
With these five industries all experiencing skills shortages, it’s easy to see that there is a lot of room to pursue a great career in each of them. Candidates will also be able to take full advantage of the many perks of being in demand in the job market. The TalentPortal by GetMyFirstJob provides a way for training providers to find exactly the right candidate for the right position from one of the biggest candidate pools in the UK. To find out more click here.