Manufacturing skills being under-utilised

Posted on 12 May 2014 by Callum Bentley

A new survey of almost 1,000 British households reveals one in three workers feel under-utilised by their employers.

The survey, conducted by Markit, questioned respondents aged 18-64 and found that 36% of employees believed their employers could make more use of their skills and abilities. This is most commonly felt in manufacturing, energy, transport and utilities sectors.

More than one-in-four of all workers (27%) feel they have more skills and abilities than required to do their current job. The highest proportions of these numbers are seen among retail, education, social and health workers.

Contrary to this fact were the results that some 23% of all employees (26% of full-time staff) feel they have too much work to do, compared with 18% (17% of full-time staff) who feel they could do more without too much effort.

Commenting on the survey Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, noted that: “The survey highlights a worrying waste of talent, with just over one-in-three employees feeling their employer could make more use of their skills and abilities. This hits 47% in the 18-24 age bracket, and tops out at 48% in the North East. More than one in every four employees feels overqualified.

“A steer on the degree of underemployment in the economy is provided by over 40% of part-time workers wanting to work more hours than they currently do.

“The survey therefore suggests that there remains plenty of scope for employers to get more out of their staff: almost one-in-five think they could do more work without too much effort.

“However, the survey also comes at a time when recruitment agencies are reporting that the availability of staff to fill vacant positions is deteriorating at its fastest rate for ten years. This suggests that there is a widespread mismatch between the skills and abilities that employees have and those required by employers.

“There are also signs of capacity constraints being felt at other companies, most notably in IT/telecoms and business & financial services. A similar number of employees (almost one-in-five) thought they were being overworked due to a lack of spare capacity at their workplace.”