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Jobseekers and employers struggle with huge skills mismatch

Some industry sectors have plenty of vacancies, while in others the jobs are few and far between

According to a new report by the IPPR think tank, employers are struggling to recruit suitably qualified staff for vacancies in sectors such as sales and personal care amid a big skills mismatch affecting the British industry.

The study shows that some sectors had over 200,000 vacancies, while in others, such as the creative industry and animal car, far too many people were chasing jobs.

There were 1.8 million vacancies in so-called mid-skilled occupations in 2014, including 273,000 in sales and marketing, 214,000 in personal care, 210,000 in public services and 115,000 in hospitality, said IPPR.

The jobless total increased by 21,000 between December and February to 1.7 million – the first rise since last summer.

The think tank suggested that education and training providers should endeavour to do more to offer courses which align with local job markets, thereby improving the job skills mismatch issue.

IPPR Senior Research Fellow, Giselle Cory, said: “Though there are hundreds of thousands of mid-skilled jobs out there for new entrants, there is a big mismatch between what employers want and the qualifications or aspirations that jobseekers actually have.

“Employers are struggling to find qualified employees in occupations such as sales and marketing and personal care, while thousands of jobseekers are struggling to find jobs in graphic design and arts and media.

“The mismatches are even more acute within some local areas. For example, London employers are particularly struggling to find qualified entry-level IT technicians, while Birmingham employers are struggling to find entry-level metal workers and engineering technicians.

“If Britain wants to increase employment among young people leaving education the Government will need to find ways to help them to acquire skills in sectors where job opportunities actually exist. In some cases, these sectors will also need to find ways to make occupations more attractive to young people. ”

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