Hays, the global recruitment company, has published a list of the 'Top ten global skills shortages'. The list features no fewer than four 'soft skills' in short supply, as well as six 'hard skills'. In full, they are:
1. People and communications: Including efficient teamwork, building relationships and presentation skills, this is a a key skill set in short supply.
2. Team management and leadership: A lack of these skills exists across the board. A possible reason may be a dearth of investment at the educational level and at the professional training level.
3. Organisational: Organisational skills are highly valued and something employers look for in candidates. Given the current global economic conditions, employers want staff capable of organising their day efficiently to make the greatest possible contribution to the business and add the greatest value.
4. Languages: This is a common need worldwide in an increasingly global marketplace. English has become the lingua franca for business, and even for those whose first language is English, being able to speak a second or third language is a highly valuable asset.
5. IT: Specific IT skills that are in short supply globally include knowledge of JAVA, .NET and C++, as well as IT skills specific to individual industries.
6. Green skills: This is a fairly new area, but a growing one, with particular demand in the green energy and construction sectors across all regions.
7. Research and development (R&D): Technology, consumer goods, industrial and life science companies all foresee severe R&D skill shortages.
8. Healthcare: As people live longer, the requirement for healthcare grows. But the lack of healthcare professionals poses a considerable threat for the global economy over the next 20 to 50 years.
9. Procurement and negotiation: As businesses seek to cut costs and make savings, demand is soaring for skilled professionals capable of making these savings and getting the best deals.
10. Financial and budgetary: An increasing number of organisations are looking for greater financial and budgetary awareness, but in many countries there is a shortage of local candidates with these skills.
Many of these skills are key components of BTEC courses, available in such fields as Health and Social Care, IT and Banking and Finance. Each of these courses makes soft skills a key part of development, and there are also additional courses that focus specifically on soft skills, such as BTEC WorkSkills and Effective Behaviours for Work.
Full details of the entire BTEC range can be found at www.btec.co.uk.