Long reads

These are the work skills Brits need to succeed

Amanda Kavanagh

Amanda Kavanagh

Contributor, Jobbio

As all industries become increasingly digitised, the need for a digitally-skilled workforce, at all levels, has never been greater. However, digital is just one of the areas affected by the current skills gap in the UK.

Leadership-related soft skills, STEM and healthcare, and training and education joined digital in the top four of missing skills in the market, and this is putting employees, employers, industries, and the UK as a whole at a competitive disadvantage.

The severity of the skills gap and the necessary steps to close it have been highlighted in a number of UK government papers, such as the Department for Education's (DfE) Skills for Jobs policy paper, and more recently, the Levelling Up white paper.

3 fintech roles hiring in the UK now

Numerous independent reports also agree. According to the Industrial Strategy Council, 20% of workers might not have the skills required for their jobs by 2030, while the OECD Skills for Jobs database suggests that 28% of workers in the UK are underqualified right now.

Hiring view

Recruiters and hiring managers say the fintech industry has a great need for skilled individuals, but it is a struggle to find suitable candidates.

Fields like blockchain and machine learning, which are essential for many fintech applications, are just two areas where advanced digital skills are lacking.

Meanwhile, according to jobs site Indeed, knowledge of Python, Scala, Java, C++, JavaScript, MATLAB, and Ruby are of highest-value in fintech development.

The finance industry's reliance on complex technologies makes this skills gap both a pressing concern, and an opportunity for strategic up-skillers.

For more senior roles, leadership skills are critical. As companies and countries battle it out to lead the way in fintech, effective communication, collaboration, and emotional intelligence are all valued for driving team success and fostering a culture of innovation.

Soft skills really matter as well. As automation reshapes financial services, cognitive skills like critical thinking and problem-solving have become even more valuable. Employers increasingly seek candidates with abilities that artificial intelligence cannot replicate.

The skills shortage also extends to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and healthcare – sectors critical to fintech's continued growth. A lack of STEM graduates and talent hampers innovation, while healthcare skills gaps dampen progress in areas like medical fintech and insurtech.

Finally, in terms of training and education, outdated curricula and teaching methods are failing to adequately prepare students for the rapidly-evolving demands of the modern workforce, while scaling fintechs struggle to stay on top of employee career development.

The fix

Employers must invest in training programs that enable existing employees to adapt to new technologies and industry trends, ensuring their skills remain relevant and competitive. At an individual-level, employees must embrace lifelong learning and actively seek opportunities to acquire new skills.

3 fintech roles hiring today:

It can be tricky to muster up the energy and time to upskill outside work, so why not ask your manager about specific courses you are interested in? Ideally, you will complete them on company time.

Provide a list of benefits to the team, and wider organisation, and be specific about timelines and costs upfront. Make it as easy as possible for them to make a case to their higher-ups. Also, it’s worth referencing how companies, like Google, allow employees to use 20% of their time for side projects.

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