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Skills shortages in the UK

December 2019

This report identifies the key industries and occupations facing skills shortages in the UK and looks at why so many vacancies are proving so hard to fill

Key findings

  • Employers reported just under 309,000 vacancies in 169 different professional occupations.
  • 106,000 vacancies at professional level were considered hard to fill.
  • Of those, just under 79,000 were described as hard to fill specifically due to skills shortages.
  • Nurses, computer programmers and HR officers topped the list of most graduate vacancies due to skills shortages.
  • SMEs experienced more and wider shortages of graduates than larger employers.
  • The UK is not a single homogeneous labour market and the list of skill-shortage vacancies varied by region.
  • The main reason employers gave for vacancies being hard to fill was the 'low number of applicants with the required skills'.

What's inside

  • Foreword by AGCAS.
  • Overview and analysis by Charlie Ball.
  • Skill-shortage vacancies by industry and employer size.
  • The regional perspective.
  • Why vacancies are hard to fill.

Download the full report

Skills shortages in the UK 2019/20

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  • Number of pages in document
    18  pages
  • File size

Download the full report

Download PDF file Skills shortages in the UK 2019/20

About the report

Published in December 2019, Skills shortages in the UK 2019/20 includes data from the Employer Skills Survey 2017, provided by the Department for Education (DfE) and analysed by HECSU. The UK Employer Skills Survey (ESS) is one of the world's largest business surveys, with over 87,000 employers responding to the survey.

This research provides a comprehensive source of intelligence on the skills challenges that UK employers face both within their existing workforces and when recruiting.

Research and insights

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