By Daniel Hunter

Despite widespread global unemployment, businesses are seeing skills shortages grow. Is education failing, or can companies and governments do more to create and develop talent relevant to the jobs of tomorrow?

The latest Hays Journal explores how despite high unemployment levels across all the major economies in the world, many countries still lack the skills they need in their labour market.

The UK market has suffered a number of years of economic uncertainty and this looks set to continue for some time yet. Skill shortages exist in sectors as diverse as energy, IT, health, education and finance regulation and there is also a tightening of immigration rules for skilled workers to add to the UK talent pool.

In addition, a lack of engineering and IT graduates has added to concern in technical industries over the emergence of a small elite of highly paid contractors within the limited pool.

"Employers need to take a strategic, long-term look at the skills they are lacking and commit to investment in developing talent in these areas, whether through training, apprenticeships, university bursaries or considering training people with transferable skills," Barney Ely, Director, Hays Human Resources, said.

"It is clear the education system isn't currently in synch with the needs of business and there is also a significant gap in the subjects people are studying and those offering career opportunities."

Top five jobs in demand in the UK:

1. IT: particular demand for programmers, developers, Infrastructure analysts and project managers;

2. Finance: increased financial scrutiny has increased the demand for auditors, credit managers and corporate governance professionals;

3. Energy, oil and gas: the historic shortage of engineers continues to grow in the UK with civil, mechanical and electrical engineers top of the list;

4. Health care: the shortage of specialist healthcare professionals is growing with locum doctors and A&E nurses particularly sought after;

5. Insurance: requirement for Solvency II experience remains prevalent and there is particular demand for senior professionals such as actuarial analysts.

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