We all know UK has productivity crisis, right? (If not, see chart). And we all know part of the answer is "better skills", right? But how to achieve that...? 1/
On the face of it, things are going swimmingly: UK has highest proportion of degree-educated people in the developed world. Hurrah, right? 2/
And lots of apprenticeships - or at least, not a bad record for number of apprenticeships. Hurrah, right? 3/
Fraid not, on both fronts. First off, it turns out degree level students have shockingly low levels of numeracy & literacy. 4/
And when you look beneath the surface, v few of those apprenticeships are of the super-high skilled variety you get lots of in Germany etc 5/
Our educational issues go deeper than qualifications etc. eg, in UK a child's skills levels are highly correlated with their parents' skill levels. eg we are passing down poor numeracy from generation to generation. 6/
Also, it's not as if businesses NEED degree level training. Look at UK in this table: major chunk of jobs needed don't necessitate higher education... 7/
...with the upshot that UK has one of the biggest skills mismatches in the developed world. 8/
...and yet the amount of in-job training businesses are offering is low and falling 9/
I could go on. No easy answers. But UK seems to have more uni students than it really needs. Poor at reskilling workers. Some of this is cultural. Some is govt's fault. Some not. Lots more in this OECD report (from which all those charts come): http://www.oecd.org/unitedkingdom/getting-skills-right-united-kingdom-9789264280489-en.htm 10/10
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