Are you thinking about applying for part time jobs but are unsure which type of work to look for? Or, perhaps you have applied for part time work in the past but have struggled to make yourself stand out above all the competition.

There are certain types of roles out there that always seem to attract hundreds of applicants and you are one of those applicants. It is easy to become disillusioned, especially if you feel like you have applied for numerous jobs and you are getting no reply or the letter that says, “Thanks but no thanks.”

Well, keep at it. We have lots of advice in this section of the site including tips for building a killer application for part time jobs and also for making yourself stand out in interview once you have got past the application stage.

In this article, we have another idea for you to consider when you are trying to decide which type of part time jobs to apply for. In many countries around the world – including the UK – there is a skills shortage in certain fields. Why not consider making yourself indispensable to potential part time employers by highlighting the fact that you have the skills that they are really looking for?

This could be a great and effective way of making yourself stand out from the crowd when you are applying for part time jobs. And of course, if it is the type of part time job that is struggling to attract too many applicants, that competition could also be much reduced, too.

What Is The UK Skills Shortage?

In 2015, UKCESS (UK Commission For Employment And Skills) conducted a comprehensive survey of employers to ascertain where skills were lacking in UK businesses. The results of the survey found that two thirds of employers are struggling to fill vacancies within their organisations.

If vacancies are not filled, this, of course, means they are affected financially and this, in turn affects the British economy. Currently, the survey found that one quarter of jobs go unfilled and it looks as though the problem is set to get worse. This prevents businesses from reaching their full potential.

Could you be one of the people to help a business reach its full potential by filling one of those vacancies on a part time basis? Well, first of all, you need to know what some of the skills shortages in the UK are. Have you got any of these skills or could you train to develop some of these skills and trades. Let’s have a look at the skills thrown up by the UKCESS survey that are experiencing a shortage in the UK. And do you know what? You might be surprised by some of these. These are the skills shortage areas that could help you land part time jobs. They could help you move onto a full time career, if that is what you want, or you could stay part time.

Where Are The Skills Shortages In The UK?

Could you do any of these jobs on a part time basis?

Electricity, Gas and Water Industry

The electricity, gas and water industry has the highest number of skills shortages. Many of the roles within these industries are likely to be specialised roles such as plumbing, fitting and engineering but if you have any of these skills, you could apply for part time positions.

Some positions could offer training or, if you have taken on part time work in order to retrain in another field, electricity, gas and water could be worth considering.

Machine Operatives

There is a skills shortage in the UK for qualified machine operatives. There are many industries where machine operatives are required and some of these regularly employ part time staff. Warehouse operatives who work in storage or distribution, for example, need to be able to operate forklift trucks and other technical machinery for storing and transporting goods around the site. If you already have a license, or if you are keen to train in this area then you could make yourself more employable for part time jobs or future full time careers.

There are lots of other industries where machine operatives could be needed for part time work. Agricultural work, factory work or manufacturing, for example. All use specialised machinery and all need staff to operate that machinery.

People And Personal Skills

Yes, the UKCESS 2015 survey revealed that the UK has a shortage of staff with people and personal skills. Could you highlight your people and personal skills on your application for part time work?

Have you got clear examples where you could demonstrate this, either in a place of work or elsewhere. Perhaps you have done some voluntary work in the past where you could draw examples from.

Time Management And Prioritising Tasks

As you can see, the skills gap is not just about having particular technical skills that relate to a given role. One of the skills employers look for is an ability to manage your time effectively and be organised so that you can prioritise tasks.

If this is a particular skill of yours, highlight this when you are applying for part time jobs. Examples could be from previous work experience, how you have organised your studies or even from home. If you are a parent who is looking for part time work and you find you have a huge gap on your CV, you will definitely be able to give some examples of your time management prowess, your ability to multitask and prioritise some tasks over others. You probably do this every day in the home, after all.

Specialist IT Skills

Specialist IT skills are part of the skills shortage in the UK. It is thought that business in the UK are often prevented from reaching their full potential because they are not making full or effective use of the IT equipment and packages availabşe to them.

If you are looking for part time jobs and have particularly relevant IT skills – or you are willing to learn further by going mon training courses – then this could be highlighted in your application. If this is a skill that you are lacking in and you are working part time so that you can retrain in another field, IT courses could be a good option.

Construction Work

The UKCESS survey found that there is a high density of vacancies in the construction industry. If you are looking for entry level seasonal jobs or part time jobs throughout the year, you are physically fit and think you would like to work outdoors, then vacancies in construction in your area could crop up. In fact, the number of vacancies in construction has more than doubled in the last few years. Food for thought for those of you looking to work outdoors.

Hotels And Restaurants

Another field where there is a high density of vacancies is the hospitality industry in hotels and restaurants. As well as seasonal work, these industries tend to employ a high number of part time workers. If you want to work flexible hours, if you are willing to work evenings and weekends and during public holidays, then part time jobs in this industry could be ideal for you. Find out more about part time construction jobs here.


Do you live in a rural area or closer to farms and gardens? If so, then there is a skills shortage in agriculture and you could be the person to learn those skills. If you have the skills in the bag then you could do seasonal work or long term part time work and some roles even have accommodation.

As with construction work, entry level part time jobs could be available where you could learn the skills to take you further in your career or, if you already have an agricultural background, have you considered part time work in this industry to help bridge that skills shortage? This is the type of work that also requires your physical fitness and a keenness to work outdoors.

Find out more here about part time farm work.

Financial Services Sector

Have you got a skill at handling money, working with numbers, auditing or analysing trends? If you have any previous experience, these are the types of roles where there is a skills shortage in UK businesses. If you are doing part time work whilst you retrain in another field, the financial service sector could be worth your consideration.


We have written in a previous article that the education sector could be a good idea for mums who are looking to work part time. You are working school hours and you get some or all of your holidays together so childcare provision can be reduced. As there is a skills shortage in the education sector, working part time with children can get you the experience so that you can continue your training if you wish.

Sales And Customer Handling

Slowly, slowly, employers are becoming more flexible and are employing more staff who need to work flexible or part time hours. If you have sales and customer handling experience from your previous career and looking to get back into employment on a part time basis, the skills shortage in this field could give you a better chance of landing a role.

Problems With Attitude, Personality Or Motivation

Have you got references from previous employers who can vouch for your excellent attitude towards your work? Perhaps you have specific examples where your personality or motivation really benefited a company you worked for in the past.

And if you have a lack of work experience, any charity or voluntary work or other deeds you have done outside the workplace could be highlighted on your application. Those deeds that can really demonstrate how keen you are to succeed in your part time job.

Specific Issues Related To The Job

Lots of employers find it hard to fill their vacancies for specific issues related to the jobs they have on offer. This is not necessarily a struggle with finding people with the skills to do the job – there could be many of you out there with ability to do the job well.

No. You if you have the time, willingness or ability, you could land yourself part time jobs in workplaces that have roles available at unsociable hours, for example. People look for part time work for lots of different reasons and one of those could be that, for whatever commitment, you just can’t work regular daytime hours. If that is you, why not look into part time roles in your area that offer hours that are considered by many to be unsociable.

Other employers find it difficult to fill their vacancies because of the location of their workplace. If it is remote, perhaps there is no public transport to there or it might be too expensive for mothers to travel there. In a previous article, we said that parents who are looking for part time work love their commute. If you are a mum, that’s your ‘you time.’ If you have your own transport, too, maybe these remote workplaces could be worth your consideration for part time jobs if they match your skill set.

The Skills Shortage Has Increased In Trades

If you have been to technical colleges, training centres or you have work experiences that you could draw upon in relevant areas, part time work could be readily available in trades that you are qualified in. There is also the option of doing further training so that you can increase your chances of finding work. These could be good roles to do if you are hoping to use your part time work as a stepping stone to a full time career in the future.

Trades where skills shortages exist include being a chef, vehicle technician, mechanic or electrician.

Professionals, Management And Leadership

In a past article, we have looked at the issues facing mums who are looking to get back into part time work, continuing their professional or management career on a more flexible, part time basis. More positions could become available if the skills shortage in these areas continues to increase.

Apply For Part Time Jobs

As you can see, the skills shortage in the UK occurs across a whole range of jobs, trades and professions. If you are looking for part time work and think you could help fill the gap in any of the fields mentioned above, take a look at our current part time vacancies to see if there is anything to suit you. You could soon be making yourself indispensable, holding down multiple part time jobs or making the most of the role that you have in a way to suit your own needs.

Seen something to suit you? Well, give yourself the best chance of landing an interview and check out our top tips for getting your CV spot on.