The Changing Demand for Skills in the UK

The Centre for Vocational Education Research (CVER) has published a research paper on the changing demand for skills in the UK. The paper presents estimates of changes in skills utilisation and in the returns to skills in the UK for 2002-2016 using new measures of skills derived from a systematic and detailed matching between the US O*NET system and UK SOC. Over the period, there is strongly increasing utilisation of both analytical skills and interpersonal skills, and declining use of physical skills. A decomposition analysis reveals that most of the change in skills utilisation is within occupations rather than between occupations, suggesting that the changes are pervasive throughout employment.

While the returns to interpersonal skills are lower than to analytical skills, they are also increasing over time, and are significant especially post-2010. Finally, the returns to physical skills are significantly negative over the whole period.

The results suggest that the UK labour market is strongly increasing its demand for both analytical and interpersonal skills.

Further information can be found here: The changing demand for skills in the UK