Two-thirds of highly skilled jobs will go to women, says commission » SMEInsider

Two-thirds of highly skilled jobs will go to women, says commission

Gender skills gaps and lower academic achievement among male candidates will mean that the majority of new highly skilled jobs created over the next six years will need to go to women, according to research by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).

The percentage of degree-holding Brits is set to outstrip those in the US and much of Europe in the coming years. But, while a university education is become more common amongst all genders, the report found that uptake among men is happening at a slower rate than women.

Nearly half (49%) of women expected to have a degree by 2020 – an increase of 11% on today’s figures. By contrast, just 44% of men are expected to  have earned degree level qualifications in six years’ time. Girls also consistently outperform boys at GCSE and A Level, with 73% of girls achieving A-C grades at GCSE, compared to just 64% of boys, and nearly twice as many girls than boys gaining distinctions on BTEC courses .

With attainment gaps widening at all stages of education, UKCES says that this points to far more qualified women entering the workplace than men. However, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady highlighted that the statistics are “concerning for both sexes” as, despite higher grades, women remain consistently underrepresented in top-earning jobs and professions.

Men are finding it to harder to get skilled jobs, while for many women, their higher qualifications are not leading to better pay and jobs,” she said.

Michael Davis, chief executive of UKCES, added: “These projections are a warning shot for our future selves. They highlight the importance of employers continuing to develop the skills of all of their employees to ensure that businesses compete successfully and the economy continues to grow.”