Job Matching in the UK

Determinants and Implications of Underskilling and Overskilling

Cowling M | Working Paper WP13 | Institute for Employment Studies | Feb 2007

One of the most oft cited reasons for the UK's lack of competitiveness is skills shortages. Yet the issue is normally discussed in the framework of a pool of inadequately skilled, unemployed labour who cannot hope to fill the job requirements of firms.

In this paper we consider job-skills mismatches of those individuals fortunate enough to have jobs and question whether firms are failing to utilise the skills of their existing labour force. Further, we also consider whether firms are hiring workers not capable of fulfilling their job requirements without adequate training provision.