Adding more detail to the Standard Occupational Classification

Closed 30 Sep 2019

Opened 13 Jun 2019

Feedback Updated 30 Oct 2019

We Asked

The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) is a recognised framework that enables all UK occupations to be classified according to skill level and specialisation. SOC is essential in the creation of occupational statistics which, in turn, are used to inform policy and the public. There are also many examples of how SOC is used outside of the statistical environment including matching job seekers to vacancies and in the identification of skills gaps and training needs.   

We asked representatives from a variety of businesses and organisations whether they thought the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) required more detail than is currently available, and if so, what additional detail was required.

We asked:

  • Whether and how often they used SOC
  • Whether the current version of SOC was detailed enough for their needs
  • Whether they felt their occupational area was sufficiently represented within SOC
  • Which areas of SOC would benefit from more detail
  • Examples of the additional detail required
  • Examples of job titles within their occupational area

You Said

We received 170 responses to our survey. A wide range of occupational areas were represented in the results, including a variety of Public Sector representatives, Universities and educational organisations. We also heard from a large number of overarching bodies representing specific industry sectors. Coverage of the framework was high, with all SOC Major Groups being represented in the results. 

Overall, there was support for adding greater detail to SOC. Around half of those responding were already users of SOC with specific requirements whilst the remainder wanted to help ensure that their own occupational area was accurately represented within the extended classification.

Around two thirds indicated that there are areas where they would like to see greater detail added. Examples of where respondents requested greater visibility and detail with the classification included amongst others: event planning, mediation services, bloggers/social influencers, engineering and the craft industry

A full report of the survey results will be available on this page shortly.  

We Did

The feedback we received highlighted occupational groups within the classification which would benefit from an additional breakdown and what this breakdown could look like. Using your feedback, we have begun drafting a structure for the SOC extension. Draft structures for each of the areas the classification will be made available on the GSS website in due course for you to view and provide feedback (link below). To provide feedback, or if you have any questions about the project, please contact SOCExt@ons.gov.uk

Results Updated 30 Oct 2019

Links:

Overview

The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) is a recognised framework that enables all UK occupations to be classified according to skill level and specialisation. SOC is essential in the creation of occupational statistics which, in turn, are used to inform policy and the public. There are also many examples of how SOC is used outside of the statistical environment including matching job seekers to vacancies and in the identification of skills gaps and training needs.   

Some SOC users have expressed a need for a greater level of detail than is currently available.  In response to this, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is working with Warwick University’s Institute for Employment Research (IER) to launch a stakeholder enagagement exercise looking at the level and nature of requirements. 

For now, the remit of this work remains exploratory.  There are no plans currently to publish statistics to this more detailed level as it is unlikely there will be availability of large enough sample sizes to make the new job groups statistically viable. However, there is the possibility of this being feasible in the future. In the meantime, this project will affect the wider use of SOC outside of the statistical environment. To give just one example, a more detailed version of SOC may help enable the more precise identification skills gaps and traning needs, to promote future growth in our ever-evolving labour market.

Why We Are Consulting

Your insight will play a crucial role in contributing to the development of the framework. As well as ensuring roles and responisbilities within your sector continue to be correctly represented, your insight will help us make sure the extended SOC is fit for user need. 

What Happens Next

Please note: This is not a formal public consultation

This engagement exercise has now closed. Thank you for your input. We will be assessing the feedback from all the respondents and updating the Results page soon.

Audiences

  • Anyone from any background

Interests

  • Business
  • Crime
  • Economy
  • Health
  • Labour market
  • Migration
  • Population
  • Statistics
  • Data
  • Surveys