home office or hollywood

More than three quarters of Britons cannot tell the difference between the UK’s most in-demand jobs and fictional roles taken from sci-fi blockbusters, such as Mad Max, Hunger Games, Dune and Inception, according to a study by Stormline. Jobs in visual design were the most frequently mistaken for fictional movie job titles.

The study by Stormline – who supply equipment to professionals in the science and engineering sector, presented more than 1,000 adults with a selection of job titles taken from the Home Office’s own website, combined with job titles from high profile films set either in the future or a fantasy realm, then asked them to say whether the role was from the Home Office or Hollywood.

The study found that more than three quarters of participants were unable to correctly identify whether the job titles were real or fictional, getting at least one wrong. Robots

In total, almost 1 in 3 answers given were incorrect. Jobs in visual design were the most frequently believed to be science fiction. Roles portrayed in films including Her, Hunger Games and Mad Max were considered more plausible than actual jobs from the Government website.

The most frequently misidentified job was shader writer. 66% believed this specialist visual effects role with a salary of almost £30,000 to be fictional.

Almost two of thirds of participants (62%) thought the role of Guild navigator, the dark blue, spice-addicted interstellar humanoids from David Lynch’s Dune, was a Home Office in-demand occupation.

Meanwhile, more than half (52%) thought the role of matte painter, a visual effects specialist with an average salary of more than £20,000, was sci-fi.

Head Game Maker – the role played by Philip Seymour Hoffman in the Hunger Games series, was identified as a government-approved job by 38%. A number of roles on the Home Office list are in the highly paid games sector, including texture artist, driver developer and compositing artist, but head game maker wasn’t one of them.

Skills gap or science fiction – the jobs that caused the most confusion


Regan McMillan, director of Stormline said:

“We’re aware of the skills gap in the engineering industry and we’ve done lots of research into barriers to participation in engineering in the past. One thing we did notice during our research into the most in-demand professions was how unusual some of the job titles were. We couldn’t immediately tell what the job was from the title, and we consider ourselves fairly clued up on the industries we serve.

“For any youngster looking to choose a profession where they can help fill the skills gap, I don’t imagine those job titles would be particularly helpful or interesting. So we set up a study to see if people could tell the difference between the jobs listed by the Home Office as ‘in-demand’ and some of the weird and wonderful jobs from Hollywood’s sci-fi blockbusters. The results surprised everyone. It’s not a reflection of general ignorance, but more that the Home Office might consider optimising how it lists these jobs on its own website to appeal to a broader pool of talent.”