Skills gaps in the voluntary sector have slightly decreased

The proportion of voluntary organisations with a skills gap in their applicants and current workforce has slightly fallen over the years, from 16% in 2013 to 14% in 2017. While the private sector has also seen a small decrease from 18% to 17% over the same period, the public sector has experienced a small increase from 21% to 22%. Future releases of the survey will show whether these trends continue (ESS).

While skills gaps in current staff have decreased from 13% in 2013 to 10% in 2017, skills gaps for applicants has remained relatively static, at 2% in 2013 and 2015, and 3% in 2017.

Chart 9: Skills gaps in the voluntary sector have slightly decreased over the years

In terms of the types of skills reported missing from applicants over time, specialist skills needed to perform the role have remained steady at 66% over 2015 and 2017. Other skills gaps such as managing their own and others feelings have increased in recent years, from 34% in 2015, to 52% in 2017. Applicants’ ability to solve complex problems has improved from 47% in 2015, to 41% in 2017.

For skills missing from staff, teamwork has improved from 59% in 2015 to 46% in 2017, while specialist skills have worsened from 46% in 2015 to 52% in 2017[1] (ESS).

Diagram showing most-improved and least-improved skills among applicants and staff


  1. Questions on types of missing skills for applicants and current staff were asked in 2013 but changes in response options and how the question was asked meant that the results are not comparable to 2015 and 2017