Belfast Telegraph

Warning as jobseekers and employers 'struggle' with skills mismatch

Employers are struggling to recruit suitably qualified staff in occupations such as sales and personal care amid a big skills mismatch affecting British industry, according to a new report.

A study by the IPPR think tank found that some sectors had over 200,000 vacancies, while in others, such as animal care and creative, too many jobseekers were chasing work.

There were 1.8 million vacancies in so-called mid-skilled occupations in 2014, including 273,000 in sales and marketing, 214,000 in personal care, 210,000 in public services and 115,000 in hospitality, said IPPR.

The top sectors with more advertised vacancies than qualified jobseekers were personal care, metal work and health associates.

The report comes as figures on Wednesday revealed that u nemployment has increased for the first time in almost a year.

The jobless total jumped by 21,000 between December and February to 1.7 million - the first rise since last summer.

IPPR said education and training providers should do more to offer courses that more closely match local labour markets.

Giselle Cory, IPPR Senior Research Fellow, said: "T hough there are hundreds of thousands of mid-skilled jobs out there for new entrants, there is a big mismatch between what employers want and the qualifications or aspirations that jobseekers actually have.

"Employers are struggling to find qualified employees in occupations such as sales and marketing and personal care , while thousands of jobseekers are struggling to find jobs in graphic design and arts and media.

"The mismatches are even more acute within some local areas. For example, London employers are particularly struggling to find qualified entry-level IT technicians, while Birmingham employers are struggling to find entry-level metal workers and engineering technicians.

"If Britain wants to increase employment among young people leaving education the Government will need to find ways to help them to acquire skills in sectors where job opportunities actually exist. In some cases, these sectors will also need to find ways to make occupations more attractive to young people. "

IPPR published a new calculator showing where job vacancies are for university, college or school leavers in different regions, as well as wage details.

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