The Value of Life-Long Learning

Employers agree that the most valuable candidates are those with a willingness to constantly reskill. With in-work training offering so much, what are the top salaries for non-graduates? And why are apprenticeship schemes floundering?

Employers want long-term learners

What is the one skill that the most sought after candidates all possess? According to three quarters per cent of employers, it is the capacity to keep learning new abilities throughout their career.

The finding is one part of a recruitment study, carried out by Hays Australia & New Zealand. Of the two thousand organisations questioned, 77 per cent placed life-long learning as a vital skill for today’s professionals.

Upskilling is not a new concept in the world of work. What is perhaps a more recent development is the rate at which professionals acquire new abilities. More than one in ten workers (14 per cent) re-train on a weekly basis. Almost one in five (18 per cent) have monthly targets.

Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand said: “Don’t be part of the 24% who upskill only once a year”.

With 60 per cent of roles facing some degree of automation in the coming years, it is easy why the modern professional is seeking skills in every aspect of their work.

More money for apprentices

The chancellor’s spring statement announced another injection of money for Britain’s floundering apprenticeship programmes, this week. But will money provide answers to the very specific problems facing youth training schemes?

Philip Hammond pledged a further £80 million to fund the hiring of apprentices into British SMEs. Though not entirely new money, the funding represents the next tranche in the £650 million allocated for apprenticeships up until April 2019. It takes the current investment up to £565 million.

We have visited the topic of apprenticeships multiple times in 2018, already. There is growing sentiment that the sector is failing to deliver, and is lacking support. As recently as last week we commented that the UK apprenticeship initiatives all failed to address the most pressing issues facing in-work training. One of those is an image crisis among young professionals.

While the image of apprenticeships remains that of a back-up option to higher education, uptake will continue to stagnate. Yet there are signs that both employers (previous story), and the jobs market (next), are telling a different story.

High Earners without a Degree

If apprenticeships are unpopular, then it might be because they are still associated with lower earning career paths. With higher education promoting itself as the most reliable way to higher wages, the alternatives are seen as less lucrative options. But is that always the case? Not according to this timely article by Recruitment Buzz.

The site has used original data to create a list of the highest earning jobs for non-graduates. The top-earning positions that don’t require a degree include: Pension manager (1st, £47,430); Dental Hygienists (5th, £41,741); Mechanic Supervisor (7th, £40,859); and Satellite Engineer (10th, £39,559).

Britain’s Hardest-To-Recruit Jobs

And finally, a reminder that market research statistics don’t always provide the most accurate insights.

A deep analysis of Indeed jobs listings carried out by a prominent voucher-sharing website set out to find the hardest to fill roles in the UK.

Taking the practical approach, researchers sought out postings which had spent longest on the site, without being filled. The outcome was a rather inconsistent collection of professions. Featured among the list were sandwich maker (13th), Dog walker (11th), and the rather open-ended Volunteer (3rd).

For a survey which, presumably, was attempting to identify the skills in shortest supply, the data is unlikely to convince. Not least because the number one spot was claimed by “football coach”. Anybody with an eye on the EPL this season will be keenly aware of the revolving door of talent available in that particular line of work.