November 23 ,2017 | by Anisa Choudhary

Enhancing skills could help boost UK growth, according to research

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Lifelong learning and better career guidance could help boost growth and productivity in the UK, according to a report from the OECD.

The report, entitled Getting Skills Right: United Kingdom, showed 42 per cent of adults have a tertiary degree, compared to 34 per cent across the OECD. This suggests that an increasing number of people in the UK are completing higher education.

Challenge

The report addressed the skills problem that the UK is facing. Just a third of jobs in the UK require candidates that have a tertiary education.

Forty per cent of British workers are employed in a different field of study to the one that they studied at school. A further 40 per cent are either too qualified or not qualified enough for their job, suggesting that the UK needs to improve skills utilisation.

While the number of young adults in the UK enrolling in vocational education and training has increased to more than 40 per cent, the UK is still behind other European countries.

Around 24 per cent of upper-secondary students in the UK are choosing to pursue apprenticeships, lower than in Switzerland (59 per cent) and Germany (41 per cent). The report stated more should be done to make the quality of apprenticeship training a priority.

Recommendations

The OECD offered a number of recommendations to help the UK boost skills, including strengthening career advice and extending guidance to employed and unemployed workers. Encouraging lifelong learning with the introduction of advanced learner loans or paid training leave to boost in-demand skills and making employers more aware about the value of training were also recommended.

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