‘35% of employees overqualified for their jobs’



Over a third of employees is doing work which they are overqualified to do, according to a wide-ranging survey for Government.

The UK Employer Skills Survey 2017 is based on responses from 87,430 employers in the UK. It shows 35% of employers reported that they had underutilised employees (a five percentage point increase from the last survey in 2015), with 2.5 million workers underutilised in this way. That is 8.7% of the workforce, up from 7.1% in 2015.

The problem was worst in the Hotels and Restaurants sector where 16% of the workforce were described by their
employer as having qualifications and skills at a higher level than is needed for their role.

The report says recruitment continues to grow, with a reported 9% increase on vacancies since 2015. It also looks in detail at skills shortages and finds a third of posts are considered hard to fill. This is an increase on 2015, but the report says due to the growth in vacancies the proportion of vacancies that are difficult to fill due to skills shortages remains stable at around 22%.

The impact of problems with finding candidates with the right skills include increased workloads for other staff; loss of business or orders to competitors; delays developing new products or services; and difficulties introducing new working practices.

Skills shortages were highest in areas such as skilled trades. The report also highlights shortages for other reasons than skills shortages, such as conditions of employment and location, with health and social work singled out as an example of a sector affected by this.

The report also suggest that in addition to overqualified staff, the quantity and type of training offered by employers may not be being maintained. For instance, it says that, whilst the number of staff trained has increased, the total number of training days provided has decreased, as has spending her employee and the types of nationally recognised qualifications obtained. It also highlights an increase in the use of online training by employers.

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