OECD report highlights biggest skills gap in UK

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), UK nations have the biggest skills gaps between young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) and those in work.

The report found that NEETs had the widest literacy gap and problem solving skills out of 22 countries. Overall, there was a 12.6% gap in literacy, double the OECD average of 6.5%.

A Department for Education spokesman said: “Following years of stagnation in international education league tables, this government’s relentless focus on standards is ensuring that thousands more young people are able to read, write and add up properly…But there is no room for complacency. We will continue to build on this success by ensuring all young people leave school with the knowledge and skills they need to compete with their peers from across the globe.”

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said the report was, “an important reminder that skills and training for young people will be vital to productivity growth. But with the government making major cuts to further education, we are moving in the wrong direction. If the government is serious about higher productivity, it will need to reconsider these cuts.”