Britain may have one of the largest economies on the planet; however there is still a shortage in skills and services that provide for our society. The top 10 areas of worker shortages are:
Teacher training courses for primary and secondary schools has fallen by 9 per cent in comparison to last year. This has raised worry of a growing shortage of qualified teachers in vital subjects. The most dramatic falls are in Physics (30 per cent), Maths and English (both 15 per cent), Information Technology (16 per cent) and Geography (14 per cent).
Britain has suffered from a shortage of nurses for several years and the Royal College of Nursing is warning that around one third of all nurses (180,000) are due to retire within the next 10 years, the demand for nurses is at its height.
There are 1.2 million social workers in the UK, but at least a further 130,000 are needed to meet society’s current demand. In some parts of the country, the shortage is so bad that local authorities are paying for officials to travel abroad to recruit experienced staff.
Despite the popularity of shows like ‘Master Chef,’ the UK catering industry is facing a shortage of qualified chefs. Since 2007, demand for chefs has increased by 6 per cent. It is estimated that a further 15,000 more chefs are needed to meet current demand and as Britain prepares for 2013.
Research by the sector skills councils has revealed that 13,000 construction workers and 1,500 electricians and plumbers are needed every year leading up to 2013.
According to the Royal Academy of Engineering, less than half of all university engineering undergraduates go on to work in this field upon graduation. A shortage of 20,000 engineers in the UK; major firms such as Atkins being forced to recruit qualified engineers from overseas, notably India and China who between them produce more than half a million engineering graduates each year.
The shortage of dentists in the UK is preventing around 2 million people from gaining access to an NHS dentist. The government has announced measures to target trainee dentists at areas most in need of NHS services and has pledged to increase the number of dentists by 25 per cent.
The dire shortage of midwives in this country is forcing some maternity units to turn expectant mothers away, according to the Royal College of Midwifery. Figures show that there are currently 25,000 midwives across the UK but 55 per cent of them work part time and a high percentage is due to retirement in the next few years. This has created a shortfall of 10,000 which is set to increase as the birth rate continues to rise at 12.5 per cent every year.
Britain is a nation of pet lovers but despite their being more than 16,000 practicing vets, many more are needed. Vets have been on the National Shortage Occupation List for a number of years. Yet despite the Government making it easier for students to gain entry to university to study veterinary science, the UK still faces a shortfall.
Across the IT industry, Britain faces a chronic shortage of IT staff. The British Computer Society warns that there has been a 25 per cent shortfall in the number of computer science graduates in recent years with as many as 150,000 new entrants needed to meet the demands of business each year.