What is the ‘Skills Crisis’?

The skills crisis is effectively where essential skills and careers are in a deficit, with fewer people getting into full time careers from college and university. Examples of careers that are always in short supply would be the nursing trade, engineering, teaching and the manual labour trade. This can be down to a number of reasons, although the recent decline may be due to an increase in university courses, with a focus more on education as opposed to physical work experience.


While a number of careers, such as welding, marine engineering and teaching, have a set number of ‘training’ years to be completed, more people are branching out into creative paths such as videography, blogging and game design, or going into the sciences, that manual labouring and engineering works are in short supply.

It is now the general consensus that careers that involve ‘manual labour’ are considered less intellectually challenging than doctorates, masters degrees and careers in journalism and reporting. The unfortunate fact is that we still have a great need for engineers, for people to fix our cars, our trains, to ensure that our country still runs smoothly.

How it affects Property Sales

Essential trade skills are hard to come by, therefore we have an aging population of builders, carpenters, surveyors and electricians who can only work so hard in their local area. As such, damaged properties or properties with major defects are being sold ‘as is’ with the buyers having to cough up the reparation bills.

However in many cases this does not decrease the price of the property, as a lot of the benefits of the property lie in its location, its size and it’s potential. This can lead to young people left unable to purchase properties or landing themselves in debt having to repair existing properties, or gives way to landlords willing to buy and rent out properties that are barely inhabitable for a profit.

By combating the skills crisis we will be able to provide derelict properties with much needed renovations, raising property values and even assisting in getting some people on the property ladder without having to spend thousands of pounds on repairs.

What can be done to help?

The importance of inspiring children at a young age –
Children are very impressionable, however in many situations we tend to accidentally leave the wrong impression for our children. We give a huge amount of weight to the doctors and scientists and athletes of this world without also showing our children the importance of engineers and carpenters in their everyday lives.

Likewise creative children are more steered towards the arts and the theatre, or into Information Technology. Engineering can be a hugely rewarding and creative career path, particularly if you have that mind-set. You only need to help realise the child’s potential.

Internship Incentives –
The idea of an internship is to gain valuable experiences in the world of work in the career that you want to pursue, while also earning a little money from it. All too often recently we have heard of ‘unpaid internships’ where the only benefits of the job is the experience gained, however these can easily be manipulated. Some employers see the interns only as free labour and provide them with menial tasks that does not properly represent the career they are trying to gain experience in.

Incentive internships; where people can earn money AND experiences, are a necessity. Providing a basic wage is essential as many internships require the intern to travel to reach the place of work, not to mention the cost of petrol, food and other potential supplies for the job at hand. Some sort of incentive is needed for internships to work.

Work placement programs for college students –
Along the same vein as internships, work placement programs provide ample opportunity to learn about the career ‘on the job’. As these are work placements they do not need to be paid, although some compensation could be offered. This is a great example of showing the college student what their studies could lead to and on the company’s side of things it may be the start of a relationship between the college and the company. Gifted students may earn permanent placements or even summer jobs, giving them an incentive to try hard and learn in their placement.

Either way it is important that we address the skills crisis at a primary level, inspiring young children to attempt the trade sectors as a potential career choice, otherwise we may see an even larger shortage in the next few decades.

Article provided by www.philipcarruthers.co.uk, a firm of chartered surveyors in Exeter specialising in the undertaking of all types of surveys for the residential residential market.