Skills mismatches, training failures

A report by the IPPR – Institute of Public Policy Research – claims the number of  over-educated UK workers has increased by a third over the past decade – companies are failing to make use of their skills

There is also a mismatch between employees’ training and what employers find useful

And yet: “About a quarter of productivity growth is accounted for by skills and training – so this could contribute to another ten years of stalled productivity and falling wages”

This view is endorsed by Seamus Nevin of the IoD – Institute of Directors – “The UK has long lagged its competitors in adult skills and training – four in ten IoD members report the lack of appropriate skills in the workforce as their biggest barrier to growth”

Joe Dromey of the IPPR estimates that there are ‘five million UK workers with degrees, apprenticeships or other qualifications which they do not use at work’

In particular:

  • “Employers aren’t using their employees’ skills – nor are they investing in them enough” – the latter is said to be due to it being too easy for labour to leave, once trained, unlike in France or Germany
  • “Wages are (thus) lower than they were a decade ago and only one in four adults moves out of low pay over a decade”
  • “Workers who would benefit most from good focussed training – those with fewer qualifications, early school leavers and people from poorer backgrounds – are the least likely to tap into it”


Hence, the IPPR believes the government:

  • Should have a greater focus on skills with a minister made responsible for them
  • Should replace the apprenticeship levy with a productivity and skills levy set at 1% of payroll for larger companies, to fund training/ retraining of workers, especially the low-skilled and low-paid


Looking further ahead, PWC – Price Waterhouse Coopers, a management consultancy – say up to 30% of UK jobs could potentially be at high risk of automation by the early 2030s

For individual workers, their key risk factor is education

For those with just GCSE-level education or lower, the potential risk of automation is as high as 46%, but this falls to only around 12% for those with undergraduate degrees or higher

And according to a report by Dell Technologies and the IFTF – Institute for the Future – 85%  of the jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t been invented yet

So workers entering the job market today need to be thinking about what they’ll be doing in the next ten, even five, years – not 30 years on


Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.