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Gloucestershire Business News

UK employers failing to measure up to EU average, says study

A skills shortage and under-investment by employers means the UK is "sleepwalking into a low-value, low-skills economy", a new report has warned today.

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), England and Northern Ireland together rank in the bottom four OECD countries for literacy and numeracy among 16 to 24-year-olds.

Out of 19 countries, the UK ranks bottom of the class on young peoples' computer problem-solving skills

The CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, has also found that UK employers spend less on training than other major EU economies and less than the EU average.

In 2010, the cost per employee was €266 in the UK, compared with €511 across the EU.

The research was published in the CIPD's report 'From 'inadequate' to 'outstanding': making the UK's skills systemworld class'.

Lizzie Crowley, skills adviser for the CIPD and co-author of the report, said: "This is a sobering analysis of the state of skills in the UK.

"Our report should serve as a real wake-up call for the Government to break with the past two decades of failed skills policy and set the UK on a new course that delivers the right results for individuals, organisations and the economy as a whole.

"While more efforts are being made to reform education, it's clear that there needs to be a much greater emphasis on learning and development in the workplace.

"As we move towards Brexit, and possible restrictions on overseas talent, it's crucial that government works in partnership with education providers and businesses to address these deep-rooted issues that continue to blight individual and business potential.

"We can either take the high road as a nation, with government, employers, education and business support groups working in partnership to boost investment in skills and create more high-value, high-productivity workplaces.

"Or, we can keep doing what we've always done and get the same mediocre results."

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Picture credit: pixabay

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