From education to employment

Survey of Employers Highlights Most Wanted Skills for Employment

A survey publiushed by Jobcentre Plus of thousands of employers across the country has revealed the key occupations that are vacant, and the key skills required in the job market.

The survey was carried out amongst some 4,500 UK employers. Jobcentre Plus is part of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), and brings together employment and benefit services for people of working age. It attempts to provide a professional service meeting the diverse needs of employers and those seeking work in the ever ““ changing face of the British employment market.

Survey is a Service for Service

The report states that some 43% of the 3.4m vacancies successfully filled each year in the UK are in roles described as “service roles”. According to this survey, these include bar staff, packers and unskilled labourers, as well as sales and customer service workers. The report also demonstrated that there is a great deal to be proud of in the battle to match people to jobs; of the 4 million vacancies in 2004, 86% were successfully filled.

Further findings showed that over half a million (to be precise, 559,000) employers recruited or attempted to recruit during 2004 (the year under consideration in the survey). This figure represents approximately one quarter of all employers in the nation. The larger portion (60%) of vacancies advertised were with medium-sized employers with between ten and 250 employees, with small employers accounting for more than half (52%) of the total number of organisations trying to recruit.

The survey identified the most desirable skills for applicants as well, with interpersonal and teamwork skills topping the bill for the most popular vacancies. These were closely followed by verbal communications skills, posessing the correct level of motivation, and having a flexible attitude towards work and problem solving.

Jobcentre Plus Cite Importance of Research

The Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie, said: “This research is important in helping us understand the choices employers make about where to recruit from and which candidates to take on. We use the findings to help us continue to deliver a high quality recruitment service to employers and help individuals to understand what employers are looking for.”

Jobcentre Plus serves approximately 43% of the employers who are recruiting and has maintained this level for the last 2 years. The report showed that almost 40% of vacancies in 2004 for advertised with this agency. The report is to be an annual fixture, with the results of 2005 to be made available in the Autumn of 2006. Lesley continued: “We will repeat the survey annually to provide a benchmark for future years and to track recruitment trends.”

Cay Stratton, the Director of the National Employment Panel, commented; “What is interesting about these findings is that for each type of occupation, whether it is the more qualified professionals or the unskilled workers, similar skills come up time and time again. Interpersonal and team-work skills and motivation and flexibility are considered critical for almost every occupation – these are skills which can be learned and often require a commitment from the employer to encourage a culture of teamwork which in turn will motivate employees.”

Jethro Marsh

Does this research give an A plus? Tell us in the FE Blog

Related Articles