UK & World News
Britain Warned Of Job Losses Over Skill Levels
Industry leaders have warned that new jobs will go to other countries if there is a lack of skilled workers in Britain with higher education qualifications.
The news comes as the University and College Union (UCU) urged the Government to invest more in higher education to help the country out of recession.
It says there is a danger that unless the UK produces more highly-skilled workers it risks losing jobs abroad and the chance to build a competitive advantage in new, low-carbon industries.
The UCU is concerned that the number of applications to universities has decreased by 7.7% compared with this time last year.
Nissan employs graduates at its plant in Sunderland and the company's vice-president for Europe, Jerry Hardcastle, said investing in higher education is essential if jobs are to remain in the UK.
"In India, they are churning out hundreds of thousands of graduates and we are churning out a small number and that will restrict our ability to expand," Mr Hardcastle said.
"If they're not available here, the jobs will move to India, Brazil and China."
Manchester University School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering undergraduates have found that despite the recession, they are in demand in the work place.
Tabitha Brayshaw, who has just finished the final exams of a four-year masters degree in mechanical engineering, told Sky News: "I was quite worried about jobs and applied early but by March I had already received several interviews.
"I was offered two jobs and have accepted a job at Jaguar Landrover. I'm very excited about it."
Meanwhile, second year aerospace engineering undergraduate Benjamin Mohankumar said he has already been offered the chance of an internship at Shell.
A new report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has sought to show the long-term economic benefit to the country of higher education.
The IPPR study found the cost to the Government of someone studying three A levels and a degree is £25,000, but over the course of their life that graduate will pay an average £227,000 to the Exchequer.
However, the UCU said young people have been put off higher education by the increase in student tuition fees and the cut in university places.
It also said the scrapping of Education Maintenance Allowance has made it more difficult for young people to go to college.
The UCU points out that the UK currently invests just 1.7% of public expenditure on tertiary education, compared to 2.3% in France, 2.8% in Germany, 3.2% in the USA and the OECD average of 3.0%.
The UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: "With 80% of new jobs by 2020 likely to be professional or technical, the UK must invest now in the next generation or risk losing out in the race for economic growth.
"This research highlights the folly of reducing public investment in our colleges and universities.
"Instead of cutting places and making it more expensive to study, ministers need a strategy which harnesses further and higher education to provide a window of opportunity for the next generation."
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The country needs the trades and 5 year apprenticeships coupled with study to be the building blocks for others to study degree levels of work as we wont need degree level engineers if we dont have the qualified trades to build the products. We cant just depend on carworks as these have collapsed in the past . We need a full rounded set of tools in our box and the return of manufacturing. It was always an error to let the trades/manufacturing slip away from the UK Now we really are a nation of shopkeepers
All these idiots are employing Polish, Romanians, Bulgarians, Latvians, Estonians because at home there normal weekly wage is about £25.00 so over here they are paid the minimum by these companies. In Peterborough 1 firm got rid of 150 Brits and got 150 Poles and the wages they pay now are 75% below as before. These businesses should be taken to court and sued for millions because they are destroying our economy just like the Coalition
It was interesting to note that particularly graduates with engineering degrees were in demand, perhaps rather than increasing the total number of university places we should boost the number of useful degree courses and cut down on the many pointless subjects offered, an obvious benefit to the nation at no additional expense !
What do you say to someone who has just passed his degree in Media Studies Big Mac and French fries please The problem is that sucessive governments have been obsessed with quantity of education, not quality There has been a 400% increase in university places - Courses are being created to put bottoms on seats and cash in the till, many have little benefit to the students future career Most Universities offer a very poor service to the student. They are run for the benefit of the university not the students
i think over the last 30 to 40years i lot of different factors have come into play that have made england less competive with less and less manufacturing.i agree with unions and workers rights and health and safety laws.people working say before say 1930 had hardly any rights and unions defended the workers with better working conditions holidays pay etc.however stupid strikes for stupid reasons unions with to much power and sometimes workers being unreasonable asking for to much pay etc business suffered big time.maggie thratcher destroying unions completely cheap imports being allowed from foreign countries and a hire and fire culture with agency workers and tempory contracts have destroyed our manufacturing.the government are only interested in scaming money for themselves and looking after the rich.now we have nothing left.theres more to manufacturing than just car plants.these are more likely being subsidised by the government in some way to keep them there.its politics nothing else.shame this county has become a joke and nothing more than a retail and big warehouse.
Juls You state workers rights have improved over the last 30 - 40 years You also state Maggie Thatcher destroyed the unions I can only assume the destruction of Unions power has helped workers to get a better deal
Juls You forget one major change over the last 30 - 40 years - we are now in a true global economy - British workers including management now compete with workers world wide. Transport is cheap Goods such as TVs are shipped from Asia for £2.00 each The worker rights given out so freely by the labour government have in many cases made British workers un-employable Schools have focused on results and league table with little regard to the future of the students, who often opt to take the easy courses with no value. Until school leaving age is scrapped and replace with a minimum educational standard require before you can leave nothing will change For the last 20 years the average educational age of a school leave has been 9 1/2 year old. These adults with low education levels are now sending their children to school - now watch that average drop again
We have too many university courses with no value whatsoever, too many 'soft' subjects such as media studies or sports management. We are despreately short of engineering graduates, and indeed of graduates in any discipline that is actually in demand.