Latest research into UK worker’s skills has shown the need to improve people management and development opportunities in order to boost both engagement and productivity.
Findings from the CIPD’s ‘Over-skilled and underused: Investigating the untapped potential of UK skills’ report revealed that 49% of workers are in jobs that they are either under or over skilled for.
Surveying 3,700 UK employees, the data found that more than a third (37%) of workers have the skills to cope with more demanding duties than they currently have. At the opposite end of the scale, one in ten (12%) employees said they lacked all the skills needed to carry out their job effectively.
According to the CIPD, the UK has one of the most skilled workforces in the world, with 42% of workers qualified to degree level, yet it also has the highest proportion of jobs within the OECD which require no qualifications at all.
Interestingly, it also found that being over-skilled can have a number of negative consequences on employees.
For example, just 22% of workers who say they are over-skilled have been promoted to a higher position in their current organisation compared with almost a third (31%) of workers in well-matched roles.
Furthermore, more than a quarter of over-skilled workers earn less than £20,000 a year compared with just 15% of those whose say their skills are well matched to their jobs.
As a result of these findings, the CIPD is calling for organisations to improve how they manage and develop their people and for the government to work with employers, unions, and local areas to provide bespoke, practical support to enable smaller firms in particular to improve their people management practices.
Lizzie Crowley, Skills Adviser at the CIPD, said, “How skills are used, or not used, in the workplace has important economic and social implications, and is a key factor in tackling the UK’s productivity crisis.
“Individuals who report using their skills fully in the workplace have higher levels of job satisfaction, earn more and are more resilient to change, while businesses benefit from a more productive workforce and increased profitability. However, we have ended up in a situation where our economy isn’t creating nearly enough high-skilled jobs, while the proportion of low-skilled roles remains stubbornly high. This leaves many workers trapped in low skill work, which doesn’t match their ability, offers poorer pay and progression prospects and does little to boost the productivity of organisations.”
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