Service-intensive and high-skilled occupations are most affected by skills gaps

Within the ESS, occupations are grouped into ‘high-skill’, ‘middle-skill’, ‘service-intensive’ and ‘labour-intensive’ jobs.

Table 2: Occupation group and occupations

High-skilled occupations in the voluntary sector had a higher incidence of missing skills for applicants (42%), followed by service-intensive roles (33%). This pattern was reversed when looking at skills missing in current staff, with service-intensive roles being the most likely to have missing skills (39%), followed by high-skilled roles (29%) (ESS).

Table 3: High-skill and service-intensive roles are the roles most affected by skills gaps in applicants and current staff

When examining types of skills gaps in applicants by occupation, most were missing specialist skills (63–75% across occupations) and the ability to manage their own time and tasks (67–86% across occupations), particularly for high-skilled roles such as managers and professionals. Service-intensive roles also had important missing skills, for instance, all (100%) sales and customer service applicants who lacked skills were missing complex problem-solving skills and the ability to manage their own and other people’s feelings (ESS).

We observed a similar pattern for skills missing from current staff, with organisations reporting that most occupations were missing specialist skills (51–76% across occupations) and lacking the ability to manage their own time and tasks (61–84%). Additionally, managers were more likely to be missing the ability to manage or motivate other staff (76%) than other occupations (ESS).