HE reforms fail to address the skills gap

Edge Foundation’s Chief Executive, Alice Barnard’s has welcomed this weeks’ Higher Education White Paper but pointed out that the measures announced fail to address the skills gap in the UK.

‘The Government’s plans to introduce more flexibility in higher education are welcome however the White Paper fails to address the massive skills mismatch in the UK,” Barnard said. “There has been a huge growth in the number of students taking full-time, three-year degrees, whilst the number of people qualifying with HNCs, HNDs and Foundation Degrees continues to fall.”


‘UK falling behind’

‘The result is, only around half of graduates are working in professional or management jobs over time and over a quarter of them are in jobs which don’t require a degree at all. Meanwhile the UK is falling behind other countries who value practical and technical learning as highly as academic study and consequently don’t have the shortage of engineers, IT and technology specialists which blights the UK economy.

‘We can only hope Lord Sainsbury’s forthcoming report on technical and professional learning routes will address the issue and help plug the skills gap.’