Britain has the highest proportion of low-skilled jobs in the developed world, after Spain, with more than one in five jobs requiring just primary education. A new report released by Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that while over 20% of jobs in the UK require low skills, almost 30% of workers are over qualified for their job.
On top of this, there were far fewer graduate jobs than graduates in the UK labour market, which means that the majority of people’s skills are being under-utilised. The CIPD underlined that this problem stems from three decades of “misaligned” skills policy by UK governments. This situation in turn has undermined the country’s productivity and long-term competitiveness.
The Future of High-skilled Jobs Looks Bright
A previous study by the Confederation of British Industry and Pearson revealed that the skills landscape is changing, with higher-level skills demand gradually increasing. By 2020, 46% of jobs will be managerial, professional or associate professional roles. Employers also expect to reduce the number of low-skilled employees in the next few years.
Meanwhile, more employers have increased their graduate recruitment in the previous year. At the same time, almost half of UK businesses expect universities to do more to help students develop relevant work skills and improve the business relevance of undergraduate courses.
Education is identified as a key player in boosting graduates’ skills further. Many young people fall behind during the early and primary years and they never catch up. Last year, 36% of pupils in England did not achieve a grade A* - C in English and 42% missed the benchmark in maths.
Raising attainment in schools could add £8 trillion to the country’s GDP over the lifetime of a child born today, the equivalent of 1% to GDP each year.
In this video, business experts talk about UK’s skills gap issue and stress that education should fill the gap between school and work. Besides this, opportunities for developing vital workplace skills need to be equally distributed across all social segments, if it is to build a robust and resilient workforce.