Figures released recently confirm that the skills problems in the UK result in an increasing number of workers who are under or overqualified for their job.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) report, which analyses the degree to which UK workers are educationally well matched compared to the average for their jobs, reveals that the proportion of workers who are appropriately matched to their jobs has been falling steadily since 2012.

The number of individuals under qualified was higher in 2015 than in 2014, contributing to the skills gaps which persist in certain areas of the economy.

Vacancies caused by skill shortages are the consequence of disparities between the supply of skills and the demand in the job market.

Steve Hill, Director of External Engagement at The Open University, comments: “Whilst any well-functioning labour market will have some degree of mismatch between skills and jobs, the persistent skills shortages in sectors such IT and engineering suggest that there are some structural problems in the labour market. When demand for skills is not aligned with supply, the impact on businesses starts to build, as the time and cost of finding suitable workers can become inhibitive.

“There is room for businesses and education providers to work together to develop training programmes that address these structural problems. Through collaboration, business leaders and academics can create practice-based educational content that aligns directly to the demands of the workplace.  Discrepancies between skillsets and job requirements are a problem for individuals and businesses and for the UK economy as a whole, so correcting the imbalance between supply and demand of high-level skills in key sectors such as IT or engineering must be a priority.”