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Professional occupations represent 52% of those employed in the lifelong learning sector. Associate professional and technical occupations account for 15% of the workforce and administrative and secretarial occupations account for 14%.

Source: LLUK LMI March 2010


Occupational trends

In some areas, there is a demand for ethnic minority youth workers, male youth workers and parenting practitioners. More qualified staff are required for certain jobs, including:

  • Community development workers
  • Community education officers
  • Youth worker and youth support workers

The Society of Archivists is actively trying to encourage religious and ethnic diversity in its recruitment.

In further education, skills shortages are highest amongst associate professionals (including learning support staff) in England (13.9%).

In higher education, future demand is expected for skilled teachers in: business management; IT; economics; electronics; law; and medicine.

Source: LLUK LMI March 2010 and LLUK SSA Stage 1 UK Report 2006

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Occupational vacancies and skill gaps

Hard-to-fill vacancies as a percentage of total employed within the lifelong learning sector:

  • England: 0.5%
  • Northern Ireland: 0.7%
  • Scotland: 0.5%
  • Wales: 0.4%

Skills shortage vacancies as a percentage of hard-to-fill vacancies in the lifelong learning sector are 67% for England and approximately 51% for Scotland.

Percentage of establishments reporting skills gaps within the lifelong learning sector:

  • England: 22%
  • Northern Ireland: 10%
  • Scotland: 28%
  • Wales:17%

The most common skills gaps identified include technical, practical and job-specific skills, management skills, customer service skills, general IT user skills and team working.

The nature of technical, practical and job-specific skills gaps varied across all sub-sectors:

  • Within community learning and development, job-specific skills gaps related to financial management, awareness of and ability to respond to child protection issues, and data management and analysis.
  • Within further education colleges, it was emphasised that some teachers who had been in post for a considerable time could lack the skills derived from more recent vocational experience. It was also emphasised that some teachers are slower to embrace e-learning technology.
  • With higher education, job-specific skills gaps are reported to relate to contextual knowledge about public policy and an understanding of how private sector businesses operate.
  • Within libraries, archives and information services, job-specific skills gaps relate to a lack of technical expertise in cataloguing and managing records, digital preservation and conservation skills. A lack of specialist skills in Latin for working with historical records was also mentioned.

Source: LLUK Sector Skills Assessment UK 2010

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    Impact of skills shortages

    The key adverse impacts of skills shortages and gaps found through the research include:

    • Lower productivity and lack of efficiency
    • Inability of organisations to react to new opportunities and expand the business
    • Lack of competitiveness or business-like approach which can result in loss of market share
    • Increased workload for existing staff, which can lead to increased stress levels and decreased staff morale
    • Organisations being unable to develop and enhance services as quickly as they would like or need to in order to respond to change
    • Reliance on contractors and agency staff, which can provide a short-term solution which has significant cost implications
    • Potential damage to reputation if the service an organisation aims to offer is compromised
    • Backlogs in work – this was particularly mentioned by interviewees in LAIS where ongoing cataloguing can become backlogged
    • Organisations being unable to meet the demands of customers – for example within FE
    • Colleges and HE a shortage of lecturers may mean that it is not possible to deliver the range of courses demanded; and within Wales if there is a shortage of staff with language skills it means the organisation is unable to provide the service required within bi-lingual or Welsh speaking areas. It was reported that this can lead to lower levels of customer satisfaction
    • Organisations being unable to obtain funding because they are lacking the necessary bid writing and negotiation skills. Within HE it was reported that skills shortages and gaps can have an impact upon the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), Research Excellence Framework (REF) and league tables
    • Organisations being unable to offer a wide range of trips and activities, for example within the CLD sector, particularly youth work interviewees in particular reported this as being a result of staff vacancies – meaning users of the service were only provided with limited experiences
    • Limited scope for sharing knowledge and problem solving.

    Source: LLUK Sector Skills Assessment UK 2010

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    Salary levels

    Community learning and development

    Pay scales in this industry are variable, so the following only provides an indication of the average annual salary levels:

    • Community development worker £15,000 - £30,000 depending on experience
    • Community education officers £20,000 - £23,000, senior posts up to £30,000
    • Youth worker £18,000 - £35,000 (depending on experience)
    • Youth support worker £13,000 - £16,000
    • Youth work manager £35,000 - £60,000

    Further education

    Pay scales in this industry are variable, so the following only provides an indication of the average annual salary levels:

    • Further education lecturer/teacher/trainer in leadership and management can earn between £33,000 - £81,000
    • Further education lecturer/teacher/trainers can earn between £22,000 - £33,000
    • Further education learning support staff can earn around £10,000
    • NVQ Assessor/internal verifier can earn between £16,000 - £25,000, there are some exceptions where staff can earn up to £40,000

    Salaries are often paid hourly within a further education setting.

    Higher education

    Pay scales in this industry are variable, so the following only provides an indication of the average annual salary levels:

    • Professors can earn between £34,000 - £86,000
    • Senior Lecturer can earn between £35,000 - £48,000
    • Lecturer can earn between £25,000 - £42,000
    • Research Associate can earn between £27,000 - £32,000
    • Research Assistant can earn between £20,000 - £27,000

    Libraries, archives and information services

    Pay scales in this industry are variable, so the following only provides an indication of the average annual salary levels:

    • Chief archivist £35,000 - £60,000
    • Chief information officer £50,000
    • Chief librarian/Head of service can earn from £40,000 - £50,000
    • Archivist £17,897 - £28,134
    • Information officer starting salary can be £17,000 - £27,000, rising to £28,000 - £44,000 for senior level positions
    • Assistant information officer £10,000 - £13,000
    • Chartered librarian in a public library £23,473 - £29,714
    • Assistant librarian £10,000 - £13,000, rising to £16,278 – £18,270 for senior library assistants positions
    • Chartered librarian in a Further Education College £24,045 - £27,503
    • Assistant librarian in a Further Education College £16,502 - £18,690

    Further information on the librarian salaries can be found on the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals website.

    Work-based learning

    Pay scales in this industry are variable, so the following only provides an indication of the average annual salary levels:

    • Training directors or senior managers can earn£50,000
    • Training manager £19,000 - £40,000
    • Training officer £20,000 - £30,000
    • Training assistant £16,000 - £18,000
    • Assessor/Internal Verifier £16,000 - £25,000 (work undertaken in these roles is often paid hourly)

    Source: LLUK LMI report March 2010

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    Occupational roles and sources of information

    The National Careers Service website also has detailed occupational profiles for some occupations in education and training and Information Technology and Information Management. These profiles include information on entry points, training, working environment, employment opportunities and expected annual salary.

    Graduate Prospects, the UK graduate careers website, provides detailed information on a variety of key roles in the education sector. Information on the various job roles includes: job description and activities; salary and conditions; entry requirements; training; career development; sources of vacancies; and case studies. Further information and links is available in the teaching and education section.

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