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Can the skills gap be fixed?

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Unemployment figures have reached an all time low in the UK this year which has prompted further growth for companies; however there is a growing concern that employers will not be able to find candidates with specific skills needed to carry out their roles.


So what exactly are employers looking for?


A study conducted of over 1,300 CEO’s in 68 countries revealed that a quarter of UK businesses are planning to boost their employee headcount by 5% to in the next year. A further 20% of companies were planning increases of 8%.


According to Forbes magazine, there are 10 skills that are needed for future employment:


1) Sense making: The ability to create new ideas by connecting things that are already there. Taking bits from existing concepts to create something completely new


2) Social intelligence: How you connect with people and build relationships by asking the right questions. Be able to understand other people’s emotions, motivations and triggers to be able to connect in a more meaningful way which will be better for business relations


3) Novel and Adaptive thinking: Being able to evolve your thinking and push yourself out of your comfort zone to adapt to different changes in the workplace


4) Cross cultural competencies: It’s important to be effective in different cultural settings as globalisation is a reality where many people connect with others around the globe on a regular basis. Knowing how to interact and adjust communication is essential in today’s world


5) Computational thinking: being in a digital age it is crucial to be able to be analytical and deliver a summary of information based on a range of data. What is the data telling us? Is there a pattern?


6) New media literacy: The world of blogs, videos, podcasts and social media have completely changed the way we communicate and the way businesses are now reaching out to employees. Everyone will need to be confident in using social media networks the same way that they would assess a presentation


7) Transdisciplinarity: High competition and technological change have created more complications. You need to be able to differentiate a company by having generalist skills ready instead of hiring ‘generalists’


8) Design mindset: ideas and an attitude when approaching a situation, especially when concerning people and what matters to them most when dealing with a problem


9) Cognitive load management: streams of information come through on different channels – prioritising this information can prove challenging, so it’s important to be disciplined when filtering through information


10) Virtual collaboration: being able to lead and communicate with virtual teams and ensure high quality work is a challenge, but one that employees must start to learn to thrive in the world of work


With a high demand for these types of skills, short term contracts and apprenticeships seem like the way forward to really build up these skills. However, it is not just these that will help with securing future employment – it is ideal to be an all rounded individual with sociable as well as technical skills to be able to bring something unique to a company that you wish to thrive in. Creating a skilled workforce should be a main priority for a business, so new strategies should be put into place to attract and retain new talent to help narrow the skills gap.


What types of strategies do you think will work?

Info Investigo
Posted by Info Investigo
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