skills gap

How UK Students Can Fill The Skills Gap

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You’ve probably noticed that there’s a problem facing many UK businesses – they’re running out of qualified local people to fill skilled and in-demand positions within their companies. This is especially true in industries like IT, engineering, manufacturing, and science.

As the UK doesn’t seem to have enough local people to meet the demand for skilled workers, many companies are forced to recruit from outside of the UK.

The good news is that UK students are the ones that could save the day. If we can increase the number of well-prepared graduates in the areas that currently need more talented minds, we can begin to address the skills shortage facing UK industries.

Recruitment Problems UK Industries are Facing

The biggest problem is a lack of suitable and qualified graduates that can handle the demands required by companies and startups. Despite there being many top universities that offer courses in computer science, engineering, and science, it’s apparent that these courses aren’t properly preparing young UK graduates for the rigors of their industry.

There are many private institutions and boot camps that are designed to arm local people with relevant skills for their industries.However they often don’t come with the kind of accreditation that comes with a university degree.

For example, just in the area of IT, unemployment rates are high for graduates, at around 11% in 2013-2014. The computer science industry is one that’s rapidly changing, and in this industry many graduates simply aren’t equipped to handle or cope with the demands required of them.

We have a situation where UK startups and companies are hiring overseas graduates who are more qualified to meet the demands of their business. Given the kind of positive difference these businesses can make on the economy and on people’s lives, it’s a massive shame we don’t have the needed skilled people to cover for the demand.

Learning Must Start Early To Address The Skills Gap

 

If UK students are to fill skills gaps then learning needs to start early. This opinion is shared by most leading individuals in areas where there are skills shortages.

A great example of this is the IT industry, which the government has taken an active role in improving. Computer science is now a compulsory part of the schooling curriculum for children aged 5-16.

These changes mean that children are expected to be able to code and debug a simple program by age 7. Children have the option to study university level concepts by age 11 if they choose to. Future IT graduates in the UK will be well-equipped to handle the demands of the digital world.

We can see the changes implemented by the UK government to address skills shortages in IT. The same needs to be done in other areas as well if we are to adequately fill these gaps with local talent. Many businesses are already doing their part to address this shortage along with assistance from the government.

What This Holds for The Future

The initiatives implemented by the UK government to combat the digital skills shortage is great news for businesses. UK based Startups and tech companies will soon be able to select from a pool of highly qualified and suitable UK graduates, rather than find talent from outside of the UK.

Many businesses in engineering and manufacturing sectors are playing an active role in influencing the kind of educational content that will be taught to students at university. There will be a huge demographic decline over the next 25 years in these sectors. Ensuring that universities are training their students using content that will help them in the industry is crucial to addressing that need.

So while the skills shortages are dire across many tech industries at the moment, there is certainly a sense of optimism in the air.

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