In the last Shedding Light on the Labour Market, @EMSI_UK look at job postings from the perspective of regional employer demand. 

In this fortnight's Shedding Light on the Labour Market, we take a look at which hard skills have seen the biggest percentage growth throughout this year.

As with our last piece, we are once again using Emsi's Job Posting Analytics, which harvests employer hiring data across the country from tens of thousands of job boards, to identify the skills that employers are looking for.

The interactive chart below shows the four nations of the UK, identifying the Top 15 fastest growing skills since the start of the year until the end of October:

The fastest growing skill by far has been Personal Protective Equipment, having grown by 82.8% in England, 105.9% in Scotland, and 201.9% in Wales, which is clearly reflective of how the Covid-19 situation has effected the economy. Interestingly though, it does not make it into the Top 15 in Northern Ireland, where Warehousing tops the chart having grown by 71.7% throughout the year.

Skills related to health and social care are prominent in all four nations. For instance, Social Work, Nursing and Mental Health appear on the charts for all four nations, whilst Pharmaceuticals and Learning Disabilities show up on three of the four.

Outside of health and social care, there are a couple of prominent skills that reflect the changing nature of retail this year. For example, Warehousing is the third fastest growing skill in England (49.7% growth), Wales (102.5%), and Scotland (69.8%), and as we have already mentioned, the first fastest growing in Northern Ireland. In addition, Amazon Web Services shows up in the Top 15 in England (12.1%), Scotland (69.8%) and Northern Ireland (68.2%), but not in Wales.

Whilst all the skills that appear in the Top 15 for England also appear in the Top 15 of at least one other nation, there are a number of skills which appear only in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland:

  • Wales – Child Protection; Career Development; Psychology; and Information Privacy
  • Scotland – Cooking; New Product Development; and Service Delivery
  • Northern Ireland – React.js; Data Analysis; Java (Programming Language)

The prevalence of computing skills in Northern Ireland is especially striking. Along with the three mentioned in the list above, the Top 15 also includes Amazon Web Services; Microsoft Azure; Software Engineering; Python (Programming Language); Data Analysis; and Automation.

But perhaps the most striking thing about the charts is that the fastest growth in job postings has been in Wales. All of the 15 skills on the Welsh chart have grown by more than 50% this year, with three growing by over 100%. By contrast, just three of the top skills in England have grown by over 50%, seven in Scotland, and six in Northern Ireland.

Last week, the Recruitment Employment Confederation (REC) used Emsi data to show where employer demand has been highest since the initial Lockdown in the regions throughout the country. Wales was shown to be second only to the North West in job postings growth during that time, whilst a number of English regions, most notably London, have seen an overall fall during that time.

Watch out for the next piece in this regular series on 2nd December. 

To find out more about how the crisis is affecting your local area, contact Emsi for more info.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page