With unemployment typically running at 8-11% across the developed economies of the world it seems bizarre to be talking about skills shortages but that is the reality of the world today.
In last weeks blog ‘Can we win the Global Talent War’ I mentioned the five:
- Information Technology
- Energy, Oil and Gas
- Emerging Technology application
This week I go into detail about why these sectors are the ones to be in.
At CeBIT in Hannover Germany last week, Neelie Kroes told delegate’s that the EUs competitiveness is under threat unless we can fill the gap in the regions IT Skills Shortages. The EU have launched a ‘grand coalition’ to address the regions issues.
In addition in last weeks article on the CeBIT event the BBC reported:
The (EU) commission’s own figures suggested that there will be 900,000 vacancies for IT-related roles by 2015. There are currently about 26 million people unemployed across Europe. The number of “digital jobs” – jobs based around IT – is growing by about 100,000 every year, yet the number of skilled IT graduates is failing to keep pace.
IT is the fashion industry of business. Whilst financial practices change slowly and evolve at a gentle pace rather than being abolished, IT in business is obsolete inside five years and the people who design, build and maintain our complex IT architecture find their skills similarly redundant too.
In my 24 years in IT recruitment I was asked many times ‘how should I guarantee my employment? For many years I have responded in the same way, as there is no company that can guarantee continuous employment for all its employees forever.
‘If you wish to remain in employment you must take ownership of your own career and ensure you remain current with all the latest technologies in your core sector.’
IT is constantly changing and consequently it renews itself every 5-10 years.
Likewise so do its workers if they wish to remain employed.
As a result of these shortages many of my agency clients, despite the recession, see an increasing need for their services and all have growing sales lines. I see no end to this for the foreseeable future unless the need by business to adopt the latest technology diminishes radically.
Last year a study Jobs and growth: the importance of engineering skills to the economy by the Royal Academy of Engineering found that British industry needs 100,000 new graduates in Science, technology, engineering and mathematics until 2020. In total that’s 830,000 professionals and 450,000 technicians.
They found nuclear new build and automotive manufacture as key areas and are predicting a 15% premium compared to UK averages salaries. Those that follow my ‘Greenshoots’ Newsfeeds and tweets will know that automotive has been a key growth area with Nissan, Land Rover Jaguar, BMW and many others all announcing a growth in jobs. With the HS2 Project due to kick off too, this will create further growth in this sector.
In January Sir James Dyson, the inventor, warned of a deficit of 60,000 engineering graduates this year and argued: “The government must do more to attract the brightest and best into engineering and science so that we can compete internationally. “Twenty-six per cent of engineering graduates do not go into engineering or technical professions,” he told the Radio Times. “More worrying is that 85 per cent of all engineering and science postgraduates in our universities come from outside the UK. Yet nine in 10 leave the UK after they finish their studies.”
Clearly all these reports on the engineering sector are collectively projecting skills gaps well into the 2020’s. This too is a key area to grow in.
Energy, Oil & Gas
In a way Energy, Oil & Gas are a subset of Engineering but need to be considered a sector in their own right. The global economy is demanding increased energy production and this drive is forcing greater and greater demand for the engineers to source, design and build the oil, gas and energy extraction and generating complexes. Besides traditional sectors of oil and gas exploration and production, the quest for renewables seems to be gathering a pace here in the UK.
To put the scale of this into context the Lloyds Banking group recently found that oil and gas firms could create up to 34,000 jobs over the next two years. Stuart
While, area director of Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking north of Scotland, said “The 100 companies we surveyed have committed to creating 5,000 jobs, which, if replicated across the industry, would see tens of thousands of jobs created over the next two years.”
Again if you track my ‘Greenshoots – 1000 new jobs created in North Sea’ news feeds in recent weeks you will see them all littered with Oil, Gas and renewable energy projects that have been announced. Only last week Aker Solutions announced a new contract from BP which will see 500 additional jobs on top of the company’s 1,500 already announced here in the UK.
As we reported in this weeks March Greenshoots the Nottingham office of Home Instead Senior Care found this week care is not an attractive profession for many and they have been struggling to recruit 40 care workers company. Nevertheless the demand for skills in this sector is set to boom and there appears no end in sight.
The only issue is can we attract the people to work in this highly demanding sector.
Emerging Technology Applications
As technology advances the application of this to every business is going to create and generate new jobs and skills for which there is a very small supply base.
It is debateable whether these will be IT or engineering jobs. Certainly there will be many in these sectors but technology and mobile technology particularly is starting to pervade the whole of our lives from in-car systems, to domestic climate control systems to intelligent hi-fi to the whole tablet, smartphone industry, which now enables retailers, suppliers and businesses generally to create totally new ways of delivering services to us.
From Tele-health that enables patients to be treated for many illnesses at home to iPhone apps that enable us to purchase things on the move, business is changing and the skills and people required to keep businesses ahead of their competitors are going to be highly sort after.
Only recently a Computerworld survey indicated that 60% of IT executives plan to hire app developers in 2013.
I’m sure other vibrant sectors will materialise as we emerge out of our worldwide recession and the skills shortages discussed in my blog Third World War begins Now – Recruitment Agencies Mercenaries or Allies? start to bite.
It defies logic that with Europe facing a skill shortage of 23 million by 2020 and China and incredible 140m by 2030, recruitment agencies will not have a key role to play.
If you have children considering university then clearly these are the sectors to go for but with the average student debt tipped to reach £50,000 by 2015 when the new student fees hit, you can understand why fresh graduates will look globally rather than in the UK when seeking careers.
Personally I remain convinced that UK Plc. does not have this policy right so watch this space.