Local leadership needed to secure skills for the future

By Mark Boleat | 09 December 2014

The economy is recovering. Unemployment, including youth unemployment is going down. It looks like a rosy picture, but scratch the surface and it appears that the UK has a skills problem.

When both the CBI and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) voice strong concerns that too many employers are struggling to find workers with the requisite skills, and too many workers are trapped in low-paid, low-skilled work, we know action is needed.

According to the OECD, the UK has the second-highest proportion of low-skilled jobs in the industrialised world, beaten by only Spain.

When you consider that the number of digital technology firms has proliferated (firms in London are up by 28% to 34,000 in five years), and large scale infrastructure projects such as Crossrail and HS2 are underway, the need for more high-skilled workers is apparent.

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