UK will face a shortage of three million highly skilled workers

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By 2022, the UK could be missing approximately three million highly skilled workers, according to a new annual CEO survey by PwC. The report says that, by that time, there will be 15 million high-skill jobs in the country. This state will actually come as a result of automating low-skill, routine tasks, which will place more emphasis on higher-skill, agile roles.

Another interesting conclusion is that more than nine million people could be chasing four million jobs. This is according to the government’s State of the Nation report.

The Open University is warning that something needs to change, as soon as possible, to make sure progression from low to high-skilled occupations is open to all.

"As we consider what the heralded Industry 4.0 means for our future workforce needs, there is certainly encouragement from the fact that our economy is seeing growth in high-skill areas", comments Steve Hill, external engagement director at The Open University. "But the shape of our labour force must change to meet business requirements. We need to consider fully the impact on individuals, businesses and the economy as a whole if we fail to open up opportunities for progression to those currently locked into low-skill roles. Training options which extend beyond the classroom, such as higher and degree apprenticeships, have a key part to play, since they give individuals a chance to learn relevant, work-based skills whilst earning".

"Creating a high-skill workforce across the UK is key to boosting growth in all regions, particularly those that are currently suffering the severest skills shortages. By taking full advantage of the flexibility afforded by supported online learning delivery, businesses can access the highest-quality training material for their employees, no matter where they are based in the country", adds Hill. "Alongside the spread of options such as the degree apprenticeship, which offer individuals a new pathway to higher skills, it is the flexibility and quality at scale that online learning can offer which will help to redress the skills mismatch our country is set to face".

Published under license from, a Future plc Publication. All rights reserved.

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