Skills and Employment Survey 2012 (SES2012)
The Skills and Employment Survey 2012 (SES2012) is a national study of people aged 20-65 who are in paid work. The survey focuses upon the work that people do and how working life has changed over time. The 2012 survey is the latest in a series of studies which began in 1986. A total of 3,200 took part in the 2012 survey. Initial findings are outlined in three reports (see below).
Skills at Work in Britain
- Qualification requirements of jobs have risen over the last quarter of a century. By 2012 jobs requiring degrees on entry reached an all time high, while jobs requiring no qualifications fell to historically low levels.
- Yet, overall the evidence for continued upskilling is mixed, because there has also been a shortening of training and learning times for jobs – a reversal of trends previously recorded. The importance of computing skills at work continued to grow, albeit less rapidly than in the past, but the rise in most other generic skills came to a halt.
- For the two decades from 1986 to 2006 the prevalence of over-qualification had been rising, but it fell between 2006 and 2012. Although mismatches remain quite high, this turnaround may signal more effective use of qualifications at work by employers.
Training in Britain
- The volume of training has fallen: the proportion of British workers engaged annually in more than ten hours’ training declined from 38% in 2006 to 34% in 2012. This fall is especially concentrated among women.
- There have been no changes between 2006 and 2012 in the extent of certification of training or in its perceived contribution to skills enhancement. But fewer people are satisfied with the training they receive, and fewer report that their training helps them to enjoy their job more.
- The quality of training, like its volume, is greater for those workers with more prior education; this gradation reinforces inequality.
- There is a rising demand by workers at all levels of education to receive workplace training.
Job Control in Britain
- Overall, the level of task discretion (employees’ immediate control over their work tasks) has been stable since 2001, following a sharp decline in the 1990s. But the trends since 2006 have been different for men and women, with women seeing a small rise, and men a further fall in task discretion.
- There was a rise in the proportion of employees working in semi-autonomous teams (those with significant control over their work activities) from 14% in 2006 to 18% in 2012. This rise reverses a previous long-term decline.
- Between 2006 and 2012 there was also a rise in the proportion of jobs using self-managed teams, from 4% to 7%.
- Halting a previous upward trend, there has been little change between 2006 and 2012 in formal provisions for participation in wider organisational decisions. Yet, the proportion of employees who report that they have a great deal or quite a lot of say over work organisation declined from 36% to 27% between 2001 and 2012.
Skills and Employment survey 2012 Technical report prepared for Cardiff University
Skills and Employment Survey 2012: