The CIPD’s report Over-skilled and underused: Investigating the untapped potential of UK skills, based on a representative survey of over 3,700 UK employees and online focus groups, explores how well people’s skills are used and developed in the workplace.
The survey found that more than a third (37%) of workers have the skills to cope with more demanding duties, and that one in ten (12%) lacked the skills needed to carry out their current job effectively. This means that as many as half (49%) of UK workers could be in the wrong job, based on their skill level.
The research also uncovered a high proportion of graduates in non-graduate jobs, a phenomenon highlighted in recent Skills Shortage Bulletins. Almost a third (30%) of respondents said that while a degree would be required in order to get their job, lower qualifications are actually needed to do their job e ectively. This suggests that many employers are still using degrees as a way of filtering applications.
The level of skills mismatch is considerably higher than average in sectors that have a high proportion of low-wage/low-skilled work. In wholesale and retail, transport and communications, and in hotel and restaurants, the proportion of workers who report that they have the skills to cope with more demanding duties is significantly higher than average (at 45%, 47% and 47% respectively).
Skills mismatch can have damaging consequences for individuals and businesses. Individuals who can’t fully use their skills at work su er reduced job satisfaction, higher levels of workplace stress and are more likely to want to quit their jobs. For businesses, skills mismatch impacts negatively on productivity, not only from reduced e iciency within firms but also because it makes it harder for more e icient firms to expand. The survey findings confirm these negative impacts with just 53% of over-skilled workers stating that they are satisfied with their jobs compared to 74% of people whose skills are well-suited to their role. The research also found that over-skilled workers are also likely to earn considerably less and are less likely to have achieved career progression.
When it comes to how well individuals are supported to develop their skills when at work, the research reveals that a quarter of the workforce had undertaken
no training in the last 12 months. Older employees, low-wage workers, those on part-time contracts and the self-employed were particularly badly affected.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Over-skilled and underused – Investigating the untapped potential of UK skills