• New research reveals COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increased demand for care and warehousing skills in West Midlands
  • Support Workers, Warehouse Operatives and HGC 1 Class Drivers are ranked as the most in demand occupations in West Midlands

The UK’s biggest independent online learning provider, The Skills Network, has unveiled groundbreaking insight into how COVID-19 has impacted the West Midlands jobs market, revealing the most in demand local skills, occupations, and booming sectors.

The Skills Network has partnered with leading data provider, Emsi, to analyse 1.5 million jobs, which has highlighted care, warehousing and HGV as the most in demand skills in the region, following 18 months of disruption and change, due to the pandemic.

The top 10 most in-demand jobs in West Midlands were revealed as:

  1. Support Workers
  2. Warehouse Operatives
  3. HGV 1 Class Drivers
  4. Care Assistants
  5. Teaching Assistants
  6. Registered Nurses
  7. Staff Nurses
  8. Cleaners
  9. Productions Operatives
  10. Health Care Assistants

Additional research by the University of Cambridge has highlighted that 22% of the UK’s population lack basic digital skills, and 51% of those on the lowest income bracket have no access to Wi-Fi at home, raising concerns of a growing “digital divide” in the UK.

In fact, according to The Skills Network’s latest research, in all of West Midlands, including Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Coventry, Shropshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Sandwell, Dudley, Solihull, Wolverhampton, Telford, Wrekin, Walsall and Herefordshire, there was an average unique job posting increase of 28% between January and June 2021, with a total of 529,835 unique job postings advertised throughout this time. This is quite high and reflective of a high level of job growth opportunities with the region.

Speaking about the need to continue to invest in training and skills development, Mark Dawe, CEO at The Skills Network, comments: “This report provides us with a valuable insight into the emerging skills trends in communities such as those in West Midlands, which in turn can be used by job seekers and employers to prepare and adapt to the demands of the new working world.

“As we recover from the pandemic, it is crucial that training resources are made available to individuals in key areas such as West Midlands, to ensure the recovery and ultimate success of local economies.

“We hope that this report will provide direction for individuals and employers looking to upskill, re-train and develop as we navigate the transition out of the pandemic.”

Additionally, environmental concerns continue to impact the employee skills desired by employers. The latest research by The Skills Network goes on to highlight there has been a 230% increase in the demand for mental health skills since 2016, and a 142% increase in the demand for green skills over the last five years.

To access the full report, or to review the online courses available – please visit: https://bit.ly/SkillsTrendReport21

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