Britain’s got (hidden) talent

Open advantage computer room in BirminghamNew reseach has shown that two-thirds of UK workers with specialist skills are not using them in their professional careers.

The Western European Location Skills Audit undertaken by Oxford Intelligence covered eight ‘hard-to-find’ skill sets in ten countries.

The research showed that the UK ranks first in the Location Skills Index and either first or second in Technical IT, Engineering, Financial Services and Food Technologies.

When companies look to invest in Europe the availability of ‘highly skilled labour’ is consistently cited as a leading driver. However, the UK is under-utilising skilled workers to a higher degree than other countries.

According to the report, Britain has 3.2 million fluent language speakers yet only 31% are using that skill in their jobs.

2.6 million people have engineering skills yet usage at work is only at 42%.

This suggests that there are significant skill resources available in the country that are not being used.

Peter Lemagnen, MD of Oxford Intelligence, says that:

“The EU’s Lisbon Agenda in 2000 placed skills at the centre of Europe’s goal to be the most competitive knowledge-based economy, nine years on there seems to be a fundamental disconnect”

Recommendations from Oxford Intelligence for remedial initiatives include research into demographic factors, employer flexibility, commuting patterns, gender divide and links to academic achievement in order to maximise not only the uptake of high skills but their application.

Further information is available in this press release.

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