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Power Up: UK skills

Recognising transferable skills

Rapid advances in technology are changing fundamentally how work is done and there is a great deal of uncertainty about which of today’s jobs will continue to exist in the near future. If the predictions of technology disrupting entire industries come to pass, workers will need the ability to move into different types of jobs at different points in their career, and apply their underlying transferable ‘human’ skills to different contexts.

'Power Up: UK skills' examines the opportunities for employers, educators and policymakers to recognise the underlying transferable skills inherent in different occupations to smooth transitions for workers between different industries and occupations.

Key findings

Boosting transferable skills for the future of work

  • The top 20 per cent of occupations in our research account for over half of net job creation (1.9m). In contrast occupations with the least transferable skills were vulnerable to displacement and saw a net fall of 530,000 jobs.
  • Our community of teachers, recruiters and experienced workers had a consensus score of 91/100 when asked if extra-curricular support is needed to help young people apply communication skills to customer services.
  • Our community of teachers, recruiters and experienced workers had a consensus score of 93/100 when asked if young people are inadequately prepared by state education in critical thinking skills, one of the most important attributes for jobs in the UK.
  • Only 20% of business leaders think that school leavers and graduates are adequately equipped with the digital know how required in the workplace.

To do list:

Recommendations to help build a workforce with strong, future-proof, transferable skills and a confident mindset.

For businesses – Create structured support for workers transitioning from different sectors or occupations
For government and educators – Work with businesses to ensure that young people as well as the existing workforce get exposure to different working environments and are supported to develop a strong foundation of transferable skills
For workers – Be flexible, commit to lifelong learning and prioritise personal development around transferable skills

How businesses can support workers

Creating and improving pathways for workers to make transitions between sectors or occupations will have significant benefits for social mobility, opening up greater choice for workers throughout their careers. Improving social mobility and access to education are priorities for Deloitte. Through One Million Futures, we aim to have a positive impact on one million people over five years, by helping them to access education and employment.

We have designed games to enable players to compare different occupations in terms of their depth of core transferable skills, as well as their gender balance, salary and change in number of jobs since 2001. Through the game, we aim to help people discover insight from the occupation data set as a result of their own exploration, to foster a deeper understanding of the transferability of skills and to understand how businesses, educators and individuals can use these skills to improve flexibility and prepare for the future of work.

Regional skills in the UK

Use this interactive map to explore regional differences in skill level versus determinants of prosperity, such as salary, probability of future automation and share of job growth.

This skills heat map shows the marginal difference in the depth of transferable skills of occupations across UK regions, indicating a reason to be optimistic about improving regional equality. However, despite this relatively small difference in transferable skills they are nevertheless an important determinant of prosperity, and the other maps highlight the larger variation of these determinants across regions.

For more information about key UK regions and the opportunities and challenges they face, read one of our blogs on topics such as the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine.

About Power Up

The UK economy has proven its resilience and ability to successfully navigate change many times throughout history. But we can’t take this for granted. It’s critical that we remain competitive, retain our strength in innovation, develop and attract the skills our economy needs and convert that into inclusive growth and prosperity for all.

The Power Up series explores the critical challenges facing business, UK government and wider society.

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