A closer alignment between the needs of business and the education system is vital to boosting productivity, according to a new report.
The Commons committees for education and business, innovation and skills (Bis) today jointly publish new research, looking into the skills and productivity of Germany, France and the US.
The proportion of the UK workforce with degrees has now caught up with the proportion in the US, and is above that of France and Germany. However, the report by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research argues that the expanded provision of pathways, offering a choice between skilled employment and further study after two years of higher education, could equip the UK with more intermediate skills vital for economic growth.
It also concludes that the commitment to apprentice training in the UK continues to be limited in comparison with some other countries.
Iain Wright, chair of the Bis committee, pictured, said education and skills policy had “an important role to play in boosting productivity and living standards”. He stressed it was “vital that there is closer alignment between the requirements of business and the skills and capabilities our education system provides to young people”.
“Far too often there is little, if any, coordination. This is made worse by the silo-based approach in government, which doesn’t have the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills talking to the Department for Education,” he added.