More than three quarters of Britons can’t 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 new study.
Following last week’s linguistic blunder, where the Home Office misspelled ‘language’ in a statement about English tests for immigrants, officials appear to be struggling again, this time with people who can’t take their job descriptions seriously.
The study, by fishing oilskins manufacturer Stormline, 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.
- 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.
Almost half incorrectly categorised chicken sexer*, a real job with a salary of more than £40,000, as a work of fiction.
Skills gap or science fiction – the jobs that caused the most confusion
|Job title||Home Office or Hollywood||Average salary||Film||Percentage who couldn’t tell|
|Shader writer||Home Office||£30,000||66|
|Texture artist||Home Office||£28,000||61|
|Matte painter||Home Office||£20,000||52|
|Chicken sexer||Home Office||£40,000||48|
|Writer of personal letters||Hollywood||Her||41|
|Organic mechanic||Hollywood||Mad Max Fury Road||39|
|Head game maker||Hollywood||Hunger Games||38|
|Compositing artist||Home Office||£21,000||31|
|Reservoir panel engineer||Home Office||£31,000||28|
|Protection engineer||Home Office||£32,000||24|
|Main force patrol officer||Hollywood||Mad Max Fury Road||23|
|Sleep physiologist||Home Office||£28,000||18|
|Rock mechanics engineer||Home Office||£31,000||14|
|Bio repo||Hollywood||Repo Men||8|