A new economy means new skills requirements: Do you need to adapt?
The Work Foundation’s latest report states that the recession has accelerated structural change within the economy; they predict that future growth will be led by technology and knowledge-intensive industries as service industries continue to grow.
They also demonstrate (with research such as the Leitch Review) that the UK does not have the right skills in place to meet future challenges; reported skills shortages include technological, practical, communication and customer service skills (UKCES, 2010). This predicted increase in knowledge-intensive work will mean a change in direction for many as there is a shift away from company wide, well-defined, formal policies and procedures towards diverse work based on an individual’s knowledge and expertise.
As well as this change, the Office for Budget Responsibility predicts that 600,000 government-funded jobs will go over the next five years and it is possible that many of those leaving the public sector may not have the right skills to take up jobs in the private sector.
A goal for all organisations is to recruit, build and retain a talented workforce; to do this they will map candidate applications against their essential and desirable skills and competencies to get the best match. At an individual level applying for jobs is no longer just about providing a list of technical skills but really understanding what organisations are looking for; including the softer skills.
When considering a career move it is important to consider the following:
- There are more qualified people leaving higher and further education than ever before; HESA report 44% more than 10 years ago.
- Softer skills such as team working and communication are valued by business and are becoming increasingly important in this knowledge-intensive economy.
- The level of mismatch of supply and demand of skills varies considerably across the country and this is likely to be exacerbated by further public spending cuts.
- The shift towards a knowledge-based economy has increased the demand for highly skilled graduates.
To remain competitive in today’s job market it is important to show how your skills and expertise match requirements. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What are your career interests?
- How is the sector(s) you are interested in performing? Is it growing or in decline? What impact does this have on job opportunities?
- What skills, knowledge and experience are recruiters asking for? Which are essential and which desirable?
- How does your skill, knowledge and experience map onto these requirements? What are the gaps and how do you intend to close them?
Understanding what is happening in the economy is important to ensure your skills are in demand; those ahead of the pack will be closely monitoring change in their preferred industries to ensure their applications stand out from the crowd.
This guest blog post is by Claire Walsh, managing partner of Brighton-based management training, leadership development and business coaching providers LCP. Check out their blog for more learning and development news – you can also find Claire on Twitter.
Filed under Career Management by