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The Skills gap: Fact or Fiction?


In certain quarters, the “Skills Gap” appears to be a very real and a very worrying problem. Headlines can range the full spectrum from perceiving an opportunity in the challenge it presents, to hyperbolically calling it something approaching a “skills apocalypse”. Such excitable commentary might slightly exaggerate the issue, but there are certainly real concerns about the future state of the workplace.


The Skills Gap


Simply put, the skills gap – if it can be expressed in such general terms – is the disparity between the training and skills possessed by the people in the workforce, and the needs and requirements of the organisations with particular roles to fill. It has often been identified acutely in particular fields – for example, medicine and engineering – but is also widely discussed as a general issue with the skills new graduates and workers are equipped with on entry to the workforce.


Less generally, it is often an issue identified by individual organisations when they begin looking to fill particular positions in their business. They may find that because of a variety of factors – their geographic location or the technical nature of the role, for example – they are not able to source the level of talent they need to properly fulfil the requirements of the position.


This might also be identified within an existing workforce where roles have merged and moved around, and employees have taken on new responsibilities without adequate training to equip them. A skills gap might start to emerge where this new responsibility becomes a larger part of their role or a more important part of the organisation.


Skills gaps may also appear in relation to a technological advancement or general market trend that a company has failed to keep pace with. This might become apparent when a company is conducting market research and investigating how competitors approach their business, and might reveal a massive gap in the advanced way that they do things.


Is there a skills gap in your industry?  
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