What Exactly is the Skills Gap in Workforce, and How can I close it?

What exactly is the skills gap, and how can I close it?

Even prior to the significant industry changes brought about by COVID-19, there was a rising skills gap in the workforce. Our working life are changing quickly due to technological improvements, so it is imperative that the present and upcoming generations learn skills gaps and adapt to a digital world, otherwise they risk not being qualified for a variety of occupations.

Additionally, because of our increased connectivity, we can communicate and carry out our responsibilities from almost anywhere in the globe. Because of these fundamental changes and the speed at which they have emerged, employers require new and changing skill sets. Thus, some worry that a “skills gap” is developing.

The extent and seriousness of this skills gap are up for discussion, but it has the potential to lead to some serious problems. We look at what it is precisely, which industries need specific talents, and how to maintain personal growth in order to advance in your work.

What is the skills gap?

Let us first examine the definition of the term “skills gap.” To put it succinctly, it’s the distinction between the abilities required for a certain profession and those that are accessible. But as we’ll see, it can have an effect on several employment industry levels:

For individuals

Some people lack the necessary abilities for the open positions, which is shown by the skills mismatch. According to certain statistics, over 40% of workers in the UK do not possess the necessary qualifications for their current positions. It follows that although some persons are overqualified, others are underqualified.It’s also the reason why some nations, like the UK, continue to allow qualified foreign workers to enter the nation and find employment.

For individuals

According to estimates, around 20% of workers will be grossly underqualified for their positions by 2030. Many may consequently discover that their productivity at work is lower, that their job satisfaction is lower, or that they are out of a job entirely. For the time being, it could imply that landing a suitable employmentin a related industry is more challenging.

Read More :What exactly is upskilling, and what makes it crucial?

For businesses

The skills gap is also a concern for corporations. It is being observed that certain professions and areas have smaller talent pools than others, which causes positions to take longer to fill. Businesses are also impacted in a number of ways by this shortage of qualified workers. It may result in:

  • A decline in output
  • An increased rate of employee attrition
  • Decreased morale Decreased quality of work
  • Not being able to grow the company
  • A reduction in earnings

These are obviously all potentially harmful consequences of a mismatch in expertise. It may ultimately imply that businesses are unable to satisfy client needs, whether they relate to the provision of goods or services. Additionally, it may have a significant effect on post-COVID economies overall.

For industries

The challenges become even more apparent when these flaws are extended to entire sectors. In addition to a dearth of role-specific workers, there may be a general lack of talent and insufficient experienced supervisors to mentor the new hires. There could be gaps in the workforce for both high- and low-skilled jobs. For instance, there was a severe scarcity of HGV truck drivers in the UK throughout the summer.We are also examining the possibility of autonomous trucks and other types of driverless cars in the future. How will companies ensure that there are enough qualified engineers to create and maintain these new kinds of vehicles, and what does it mean for individuals who are excellent drivers?

It is possible that in certain industries, a large number of unskilled individuals will apply for a small number of unskilled positions, while at the same time, high-skilled job openings will occur but not enough skilled workers will be available to fill them.

In such cases, the rate of advancement in some industries may slow down because there are a lot of open positions. Furthermore, the economy may be significantly impacted by such broad disparities. Governments and business leaders across the globe must thus act swiftly to devise strategies for closing the skills gap.

Does it really exist?

Of course, not everybody believes such a skills gap actually exists. A fast search on the internet will turn up several well-known articles that make statements like “the skills gap was a lie.” Numerous of these especially address the US labor market and the elevated rate of unemployment following the financial crisis of 2009.

Some data indicate that businesses were seeking applicants with greater education, training, and experience as unemployment increased. Employers’ expectations began to decline in tandem with the rate of unemployment. But there are a lot of alternative ways to look at this problem.

We’ll look at many industries that appear to be experiencing a skilled professional shortage, at least in the UK. Furthermore, some research indicates that while educational levels may be increasing, fundamental abilities like literacy and numeracy may not be keeping up.

Why does the skills gap exist?

There are numerous views as to why there can be a skills gap. These frequently vary according on the sector and kind of position. Still, there are some recommendations that are applicable to almost any field of work.


The nature of labor is evolving due to the emergence of disruptive new technologies like automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. In the upcoming years, it’s possible that many jobs could become outdated while new ones emerge to support these innovative ideas. In addition, a fundamental change in the way people find work is being brought about by phenomena like the gig economy.

Employers’ needs for certain job responsibilities and abilities are evolving as a result of these advancements, and there are often gaps in the workforce. According to a Deloitte report from 2018, the skills gap in the US manufacturing sector alone might result in the loss of almost 2.4 million jobs between 2018 and 2028.

Ed Tech is keeping up with the rapid advancement of technology by working with our academic and professional partners to create AI courses—including courses on robots—that you can enroll in and earn a credential in. This will guarantee that you possess the kind of skills that employers will be looking for in the near and distant future.


The field of education is one where issues are starting to surface. The UK has a high general level of education; according to a recent OECD assessment, the proportion of graduates in the labor force is higher than that of non-graduates. Employers are observing deficiencies in areas like IT skills, basic literacy, and arithmetic, though.

Not much is being done to encourage additional learning and upskilling in spite of this deficiency of pertinent knowledge. Only 24% of UK workers, according to certain statistics, appear to have reskilled at some point in the past.


According to several schools of thinking, factors other than people and the educational system contribute to the skills gap. Employers used to hire recent graduates or unskilled immigrants and train them for the position. These days, a lot of firms are looking for people who are job-ready due to the gig economy and the demand for quick outcomes. Expectations and standards frequently reflect the importance placed on experience relative to potential.

There are more difficulties here as well. In the UK, for instance, fewer people are beginning apprenticeships. This might be as a result of a 45% decrease in funding for both of them and adult education generally between 2009 and 2010.

Which industries have a skills gap?

People may be lacking in general skills like IT, literacy, and numeracy, but what about in terms of professions? It’s reasonable to argue that some industries are more negatively impacted by a mismatch in abilities than others.

Where to find the information

There are multiple indicators of the locations of these shortages in the UK. The government’s Shortage Occupation List is one resource that is worthwhile consulting. This list indicates the areas where skilled employment are in short supply, allowing foreign workers to apply. It also draws attention to the areas where the nation lacks qualified candidates to fill them.

The Project Luminate report, which lists the sectors and professions with skills shortages, is another helpful reference. It also looks at the area labor market and why some of these positions are so difficult to fill.

The UK Skills Mismatch in 2030 report, which examines the skills themselves, is one last paper on the topic. It draws attention to a significant issue with fundamental digital abilities as well as management and leadership. It also examines knowledge domains where a high proportion of workers with low skill levels is anticipated.

Where are the skills gaps?

So what do these sources tell us? The studies exhibit a number of consistent patterns that point to certain sectors where the skills gap is particularly pronounced. The STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) sector, trade, healthcare, IT, and the creative industry are a few of the key fields.

According to the Project Luminate research, some of the positions with the greatest talent shortages are as follows:

  • Nurses
  • Developers of software and programmers
  • officers in charge of labor relations and human resources
  • Technicians that provide IT user support
  • Executives in business sales
  • Engineers
  • engineers for design and development
  • web developers
  • Chartered Accountants
  • Instructors

As you can see, a wide range of situations is represented by even this small sampling. Furthermore, research indicates that a comparable group of occupations are facing a scarcity in the United States.

What skills are in high demand?

The positions for which there is a dearth of qualified candidates frequently require a very specialized background and skill set. Nonetheless, a number of these industries constantly have a need for particular skill sets. All types of employers are looking for applicants that possess both hard and soft abilities.

In order to ascertain “the skills that are in the highest demand relative to the supply of people who have those skills,” a recent study conducted on LinkedIn examined over 20 million job posts throughout the network. The ranking was split into hard and soft skills categories.

Hard skills

Hard skills are the acquired abilities needed to perform a specific job. These are the quantifiable skills that employers can quickly identify and locate:

  • Blockchain. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are powered by blockchain technology, which offers a wide range of intriguing uses. Experts in the developing field are sought after by employers.
  • Cloud computing. Another relatively new technology with great promise is the cloud. Microsoft Azure and other systems have many applications, therefore knowing how to use them is really valuable.
  • Analytical reasoning. People with the ability to process and interpret big data are in high demand, whether they work in strategic thinking or data analytics.
  • Artificial intelligence. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has potential that we have only just begun to realize. Professionals in domains like machine learning are in high demand as they continue to advance.
  • UX Design. DModern life revolves around digital products and devices. In today’s labor environment, those with the ability to design intuitive user experiences (UX) will never be out of work.

Soft skills

Good employees possess the productive personality attributes known as soft talents. Employers still want them even though they are more difficult to teach. In terms of a skills gap, some of the most sought-after soft skills are

  • Creativity. A valuable skill in almost any business is the capacity to solve issues creatively and make connections between disparate ideas.
  • Persuasion. Persuading others to follow your views is a valuable skill when it comes to leadership and negotiation.
  • Collaboration. A key component of many organizations is collaborating with others to achieve goals in an effective and efficient manner.Collaboration is a vital skill that can take many different forms.
  • Adaptability.People with the ability to adapt quickly to new circumstances and think on their feet will always be in demand in the workplace.
  • Emotional intelligence.The key to mastering this soft talent is being able to recognize and react to emotions, both your own and those of those you work with.

Challenges in addressing the skills gap

It is evident that there is a mismatch in the quantity and caliber of workers needed to fulfill the demands of the contemporary labor market. But dealing with these problems can be challenging for both businesses and employees.

From an organizational standpoint, building the framework necessary for hiring, training, and upskilling employees can be challenging. Instead of looking for candidates they can work with for the duration of a career, many organizations prioritize selecting someone who can fill a void right away. When you combine this with a workplace that is changing quickly, more gaps quickly surface.

The task of retraining or receiving instruction might be intimidating for some. It entails choosing the best course of advancement in addition to investing time and energy in learning new abilities.

While it may appear difficult to overcome these obstacles, the situation is by no means hopeless. Businesses, individuals, and sectors can address the skills gap in a number of ways.

How are companies reacting?

Industry experts McKinsey found in a recent global survey that 87% of organisations said they’re either experiencing a skills gap now or expect to experience one in the next few years. But what can companies do to address the problem? Thankfully, there are several proven steps that companies can take:

A skills gap analysis

Identifying problem areas or places that have the potential to develop is the first step in the process. Businesses must assess the fundamental competencies that their employees now possess and contrast them with what they need or desire. HR teams can benefit greatly from this kind of analysis by receiving insightful information that enables them to act further.


Companies can begin hiring individuals with the appropriate skill sets after doing a thorough study. Instead of hiring for positions with limited responsibilities, they can concentrate on their areas of weakness at the moment, which will increase the pool of available skills.

Skill building

Employers offering reskilling and upskilling programs may be the most effective strategy to close the skills gap. These assist in providing training in areas where the organization lacks capabilities for current personnel. Building expertise in this way benefits the individual as much as the business.

How can I close the skills gap?

There are many advantages to be gained from all of this information, even though the situation might not look very promising. We can prevent potentially challenging situations by taking action to recognize them. In order to advance our professions, we can also concentrate on developing our talents and pursuing lifelong learning. Some actions you can take are as follows:

Skill assessment

The first step that can be helpful is to evaluate your current skill set. It is imperative that you assess your own talents and limitations and consider the potential consequences for your career. Comparing your existing skills to those listed in job listings that interest you is an excellent place to start. This allows you to see any knowledge gaps you may have.

Address the shortages

You can begin to address your deficiencies by being aware of where they are. It can strengthen your resume whether you pursue training through your present work or go it alone. There are several options for learning, including extended learning experiences or quick online courses. To get you started, we’ve selected a variety of courses across this post.

Gain experience

Finding relevant experience is one of the finest methods to hone and showcase your talents. There exist multiple approaches to tackle this seemingly challenging situation (work demands experience, experience requires a job). Building your knowledge can be facilitated by side gigs such as freelancing, internships, and apprenticeships. Volunteering is a great way to practice a range of skills.

Know how to sell yourself

You must learn how to entice companies if you want to find employment. Basically, you have to show them that you can bridge the skills gap they have. Proficiency in CV writing and interview techniques are beneficial.

How can I close the skills gap?

The skills gap is a genuine problem that requires top-to-bottom attention, as we have seen. We must ensure that we are able to adapt as technology continues to change the nature of the workplace. Fortunately, there are more possibilities for learning than ever before, which aids in closing the skills gap for both individuals and organizations.

World Refugee Day

How to help the mental health of refugees on World Refugee Day

Degree in Computer Science

Is a Degree in Computer Science Worth It? Five Motives for Getting a Degree in Computer Science in 2024