Should you aim for a job where you know there’s a national skills gap?

The UK government – like other governments around the world – monitors the occupations where the most shortages exist.

The results may surprise you. Did you know, for instance, that there is currently a lack of contemporary dancers in the UK?

If you didn’t, then you’re not alone. Recent research carried out by weather protection equipment company Stormline found that one in three Britons were unable to name any specific occupations where a skills gap existed. Those who were able to list skills gaps often got it wrong.

Below are the actual occupations and skills most sought on the UK market:

  • Engineering (42% of highest demand occupations)
  • Health (Non-consultant – such as nursing) (18% of highest demand occupations)
  • Health and science (teaching, consultant and research) (17% of highest demand occupations)
  • Visual effects (7%)
  • Waste management (6%)
  • Graphic design (6%)
  • Contemporary dance (4%)

Commenting on the results, Regan McMilan, director of Stormline said in a statement: ‘It’s surprising that so many people don’t know the industries which are crying out for skilled professionals.

‘Engineering is perhaps the most high profile sector in this regard, but even so, it still appears to be a fairly low profile occupation generally.’

When quizzed as to why skills shortages exist, those surveyed said that certain jobs are undesirable or low-paid. Although an area such as waste management may not be high on anyone’s list of dream jobs, McMillan said that, ‘Engineering, medicine, visual design and dance are all great occupations that are actually very competitive internationally.

‘If people aren’t aware that we need dancers and designers as well as engineers and teachers, we’re missing a chance to attract people into these important areas of study.’

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