Last updated: 03.12.14

More demand for vocational careers

Technological advances over the past 20 years have changed the way we work, making it more difficult to climb the career ladder and placing an emphasis on a greater need for more vocational careers, a recent report has stressed.

Entitled 'Growth Through People', the report has been published by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and has called on employers to take the lead by implementing five priority actions, including improving management, increasing the number of apprenticeships, and closing the education and work gap.

Despite the number of high-skilled jobs rising in the last two decades, mid-level jobs such as secretarial and clerical roles have declined. Not only has this made career progression more difficult, but it has placed a negative impact on social mobility.

Thus, these fundamental challenges faced by the UK must be tackled in order to enhance productivity and provide more young people with employment opportunities.

Peter Cheese, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), said: "Tackling the UK’s poor record on productivity and addressing the mismatches between what the education system provides and what employers require needs to be a national priority.

"We particularly welcome the emphasis on workplace productivity. The call to bring together leaders from business, trade unions and government to provide strategic insight, policy co-ordination and a focal point for sharing and improving best practice, echoes the CIPD’s call for the creation of a Workplace Commission to fulfil exactly this purpose."

Mr Cheese added that by developing high quality HR metrics and analytics, businesses will be able to better demonstrate the value of their employers and display why they are important assets to their organisations.

It is hoped that by bringing together work and education, for example through traineeships and apprenticeships, a greater number of careers will be made available to young people, which should lead to increases in productivity and pay over the next decade and the foreseeable future.