The recent Post-16 White Paper - Skills for Jobs - places significant emphasis on higher technical skills (levels 4 and 5), with plans for reform, including a new approval system based on employer-led standards. As the Paper notes, whilst these skills are increasingly in-demand, this is not currently being met by sufficient supply, which is something that will stifle growth and prosperity if not addressed:

"There are currently significant skills gaps at higher technical levels. We do not have enough technicians, engineers or health and social care professionals to meet the many vital challenges we face, from building our green economy to meeting the health and care needs of our ageing population. Across a range of sectors, there is growing employer demand for the skills that higher technical education provides. Investing in these skills at both a local and a national level is critical to improving our productivity and international competitiveness."

As well as the need to meet employer demand for these skills, the Paper goes on to note the significant earnings benefits for those who hold a level 4 or 5 qualification. Although just 4% of young people hold a qualification at these levels, compared to 33% with a degree or above, the earnings potential may well prove greater than those who hold a degree, partly because only 66% of working age graduates are in high-skilled employment:

"... recent analysis shows that technical courses can lead to better career outcomes for those who follow them, with men with a higher technical (level 4) qualification earning on average £5,100 more at age 30, and women with a higher technical (level 5) qualification earning £2,700 more at age 30, than those with a degree (level 6)."

Efforts to ensure that supply for these skills are meeting demand, will require good data to understand what it is that employers are looking for. In the charts below, we take a brief look at how this can be done, with data on jobs and skills that require these higher technical level qualifications.

The first chart looks at the Top 20 job titles requiring these qualifications, according to employer demand over the last year throughout the UK. For this, we have used our Job Posting Analytics data, which harvests data from employer job postings across the country to help us understand which positions are being sought after (the numbers at the end of each bar represents the number of unique job postings per month). There are a number of points of interest in the data:

  • The most in-demand jobs requiring higher technical qualifications are Science Teachers, Lecturers, and Nursing Home Administrators, each of which had over 3,000 unique postings in January 2021.
  • The biggest growth in demand over the last year has been for Mental Health Case Managers (118.6% growth); Home Care Social Workers (47.2%); and Rehabilitation Managers (43.5%).
  • There has been a general decline in demand for Architectural roles, with Architectural Technologists, Architects, and Architectural Technicians seeing declines in postings of 11.5%, 8.4% and 8.3% respectively.

We can also look at the actual technical skills that employers are demanding when looking to hire for jobs requiring level 4 and 5 qualifications. The chart below looks at the Top 20 in-demand skills throughout the last year, and there are a number of points to note:

  • Nursing is not only by far the biggest in-demand skill, with an average of more than 4,000 postings each month, but it has also seen growth over the period, with almost 900 more postings in January 2021 than the previous January.
  • The biggest growth in demand for skills at the higher and technical levels have been in Child Protection (64.3% growth); Risk Analysis (42.1%); and Mental Health (41.3%).
  • Dentistry, by contrast, has seen a decline in demand of 12.7%.

If you would like to find out more about employer demand for higher and technical skills in your area, contact Emsi.

You may also be interested in these articles:

VocTech Futures in the Health and Social Care Sectors #VocTechFutures Episode 4

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