Managers and ICT professionals belong to high shortage occupations for Greece.

Looking at past, current and future trends (3-4 years), a number of occupations have been identified as mismatch priority occupations for Greece, i.e. they are either in shortage of surplus. Shortage occupation: an occupation that is in short supply of workers, and for which the employers typically face difficulties finding a suitable candidate. Surplus occupation: an occupation for which there are plenty of suitable workers available but low demand. The employers have no problems filling such posts.

The list presented below is based on an assessment of the labour market of Greece. The occupations presented are not given any rank. All of them present high mismatch.

Shortage Occupations

Business services and administration managers[1] 

The public sector in Greece is particularly affected by the impacts of an aging workforce and suffers from a shortage of administration managers[2]. Increasingly, private sector organisations are also recognising that this shortage needs to be addressed if business operations are to be maintained. Long-serving staff has in-depth knowledge that is relied upon by other staff, particularly in environments where little effort has been put into capturing or managing knowledge in the organisation. The lack of knowledge transfer and development within organisations in combination with aging workforce are the main reasons for shortages. Additional reasons include sectoral development and redistribution of skilled workers as well as stagnant technological infrastructure.

To address the issue organisations should enhance the use of knowledge management strategies and put in place structured mechanisms for capturing or transferring knowledge when staff retires[3]. One possible solution may be building of effective knowledge networks[4]: their openness and richness help companies create, share and apply organisational knowledge and leverage their knowledge assets more effectively. In result, employees become more productive and make better decisions. Knowledge networks are also believed to increase innovation, as a result of the communication between enthusiastic, motivated and diverse staff. This however requires targeted training related to communication and negotiation skills, ability to work with others, coping with change, solving business problems, and risk management[5].

ICT operations and user support technicians[6]

In relation to ICT professionals two different trends are observed. On one hand, despite improvements in the ICT and telecommunications market in the last two years and despite positive expectations for 2016, job opportunities for ICT technicians group are overall still low. This can be explained by the fact that many ICT businesses (particularly SMEs) have closed down due to heavy taxes[7]. Based on 2014 data from EUROSTAT[8] and 2008 data from Invest Greece Agency[9] the number of employees in ICT in Greece dropped from approx. 62 thousand in 2008 to approx. 51 thousand in 2014. On the other hand, over the last 10 years the ICT labour market in Greece has been characterised by a rapid rate of occupational change, driven by the emergence of technologies requiring new skills and new ways of working. As a result, serious skills shortages have occurred. 

A possible solution is the provision of continuing training to employees to enhance the acquisition of new skills and new ways of working.

Sales, marketing and development managers[10]

It is estimated that there are at least 15 thousand sales, marketing and development managers in Greece[11] and the demand is increasing. For example, in the case of small to medium firms a strong demand for managers is observed. The need for candidates with experience in social media is also growing as employers look to drive engagement and brand awareness with consumers[12].  Of note is that qualification levels do not affect the profession negatively e.g. those with academic qualifications (university graduates) move to more specialised directions like management and research, “leaving room” for marketing executives that do not have corresponding academic qualifications.

Surplus Occupations

Surplus occupations in Greece include ‘Building frame and related trades workers’[13], ‘Mining and construction labourers’[14], ‘Wood treaters, cabinet-makers and related trades workers’[15] and ‘Painters, building structure cleaners and related trades workers’[16]. Reasons for surpluses relate to the economic recession in specific sectors (e.g. construction), which has led to decrease in the number of available jobs (building trades workers, construction labourers). Furthermore, the influx of economic migrants in construction and domestic work during the last decade has led to: a) growth of illegal and uninsured labour; b) increasing unemployment among workers legally working in the industry and c) sharp drop in the quality of work.[17] Increased mechanisation - automation and new technologies applied in the sectors of mining, wood and furniture are expected to restrict and limit future labour demand.[18] Low salaries and the fact that most domestic workers, cleaners, washers and related professions work under contracts that do not provide any job security made these jobs unattractive.[19]

The ever-increasing use of environmental regulations and restrictions, coupled with the growing introduction of new technologies, makes the continuous updating of training for trades workers extremely important. This will eventually allow them to meet current and future skills demands.

Note on the methodology

The list has been compiled by Cedefop in the first half of 2016 combining quantitative and qualitative methods. In particular, a list of mismatch occupations was formulated following quantitative analysis of labour market indicators. Country experts were then asked to build on and scrutinise this list. Their expert assessment and knowledge of the country’s labour market has provided rich insights about the reasons behind the skills shortages or surpluses at occupational level. These are also accompanied by measures and policies that aim to tackle such mismatches. Country’s stakeholders have also been included in validating the final list of occupations.

Find here more data and information about Greece.


[1] ISCO 121

[2] EOPPEP (2015) Job Profiles List (available in Greek only)

[3] Endeavor Greece (2015). Creating Jobs for Youth in Greece

[4] Papailiou, N. Apostolou, D. Panagiotou, D. Mentzas, G. (2011). Knowledge networks in professional business services

[5] As above.

[6] ISCO 351

[7] Endeavour Greece (2015: 5).

[8] Almost 8 million ICT specialists employed in the EU in 2014

[9] Exploring ICT investment opportunities in Greece (Page 11)

[10] ISCO 122

[11] SEV (2014: 46).

[12] SEV (2014: 42).

[13] ISCO 721

[14] ISCO 931

[15] ISCO 752

[16] ISCO 713

[17] GSEVEE (2014b: 57).

[18] GSEVEE (2014b: 38).

[19] Randstad Workmonitor Global Press Report wave 3 (2012)

[20] Matsaganis, M. (2013). The Greek Crisis: Social Impact and Policy Responses. Study report prepared for the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.