Higher, Further, Faster, More says that, while UK universities are some of the best in the world, they are sitting on significant financial reserves, and public spending is currently skewed too much towards Higher Education to the detriment of Further Education. This is hampering the growth of the training desperately needed for a range of technical and professional jobs in the UK labour market.
This report points to a number of startling statistics to highlight the lack of technical graduates in the UK and the impact this could have on the future of the labour market:
- The Royal Academy of Engineering forecasts that the UK economy requires 830,000 more engineers by 2020
- 28% of firms who need technicians qualified in science, technology and engineering or maths already report difficulty in recruiting
- 20% more construction staff are required in London and the South East from 2014-17 compared to 2010-13, with a particular focus on skilled construction workers
The report makes a number of other recommendations including:
- The ability for the new Institutes of Technology, announced in the Government’s recent Productivity Plan, to award their own technical degrees rather than have to partner with a university
- The expansion of Industrial Partnership bodies – groups of employers in specific sectors – to be the main route to design and approve all new technical qualifications, including the new degree Apprenticeships