Filling the skills gap
Change in direction
Those embarking on further education or thinking about a career change may like to consider vocational training in order to develop a skill that’s in short supply. Education, health, IT and science are just some of the areas where skilled workers are desperately needed.
Fancy becoming a flint-knapper?
There is a shortage within traditional building craft skills of, amongst others: carpenters, roofers and stonemasons; as well as people with historic skills such as thatching, dry stone walling and flint-knapping*. To address these shortages a skills action plan has been developed: to attract more young people; create a heritage conservation qualification and new qualifications in traditional building crafts so that these skills are not lost.
Mining and aircraft engineering
Engineering is another area where shortages occur. According to the University of Exeter, a graduate in mining engineering can expect an average of seven job offers and a good starting salary. Once they have achieved their degree they have a choice of professions – from metal or mining analysts in the city, working in the oil industry or working on projects such as the Channel Tunnel and the Jubilee Line underground extension.
Aircraft engineering is gaining in popularity, which is a good thing because there is a shortage of skilled workers in this field too. Ana Cadena, a student at Kingston University in Surrey, is from Ecuador. She says she ‘always wanted to study about aircraft but in [her] country it’s a male thing’. She says that the course is hard, but that she ‘really, really loves it’. (source: BBC News)
Rewards of teacher training
Bursaries and other incentives are being offered to those who train to become a teacher. Secondary school teachers in music, languages, maths, science and technology are needed. Undergraduates are required to do a three-year teaching degree and graduates a one-year qualification.
Traditionally, many of the jobs listed above have been dominated by men and even though women now make up nearly half the workforce in the UK, very few venture into areas such as construction and the motor trade. Perhaps that will change now that so many opportunities are available to develop new skills.
* flint-knapping – process of shaping flint by striking it to make a tool for building walls