As a nation, we've got a shortage of GPs (and possibly plumbers), and what is left of our manufacturing base seems to be emigrating, pursued by our sole growth industry - call centres.
So the cunning plan supported by the Government, and revealed on page 2, is to encourage young people to consider careers in tax. Can't you just hear those squeals of teenage joy as Connexions advisers suggest the perfect career? Much more exciting than being a boring old vet, footballer or popstar.
But is this joined-up policy-making? Will the controversial "maths for the citizen" courses be up to spotting tax fiddles? And might this campaign divert our increasingly-precious possessors of maths A-level from more important pursuits, like teaching the subject?