Countryside Matters 2014 - page 14-15

Countryside
Matters
12
Countryside
Matters
13
The tomorrow people
GROWING PEOPLE
GROWING PEOPLE
by
KatjaHall
CBIChiefPolicyDirector
Newskillsareneeded toboostour future’seconomyandonly talented, trained
peoplewilldrivegrowth. TheUKshould tackleanationalneedandensuremore
studentsacheivehigher leverqualifications.
Tom
Alison
Michael
With businesses already reporting major skills shortages in areas like
manufacturingandengineering,theCBI’sviewisthatthisdemonstratestheneed
formoreflexiblewaysof learning, well beyond the traditional default routeof
undergraduatedegreethat isrightformanybutnotall.Therearepracticalsteps
tobetaken,suchasmore learn-as-you-earnmodels,butalsoashiftupwardsfor
usall inambitionand long-termplanning.Anticipatedchanges tooccupational
structuresmean thatby2020nearlyhalfof all employmentwill be forhighly-
skilledroles.Growth inkeysectorswillboostemploymentandstimulatedemand
acrosstheeconomy,generatinggreaterprosperity.Betterroutestohigherskills
will notonlyhelpuscompeteglobally, butalsoopenupopportunity toamore
diversegroupofpeople,wideningthetalentpoolandtackling inequalities.
The CBI’s own research shows a growing demand among employers for
increased levelsofhigherskills inthefuture,particularly inhigh-growthsectors.
On balance, in 2013, slightly fewer employers predicted a need over the next
threeyearsforemployeeswith lowskills. Insignificantcontrast,firmspredicting
aneedforhigherskills levelsoverthenextthreeyearsoutnumberedthosethat
didn’tbynearly60percent,ahugemargin. Ofcourse,one traditional route to
connectworkforceskillstobusinessneedhasbeenthroughvocationaleducation,
somethingmanyother countrieshaveconsistentlyvaluedhigher thanhere in
theUK. InGermany,more thanhalf of students aged 16-19 choose vocational
routes inuppersecondaryeducation. InAustriaandtheNetherlands, thefigure
isevenhigher,at67percentand71percentrespectively. But intheUK it is just
32percent. It isclearwemustmaximisethepotentialofnewgatewaystobetter
skills beyond academic A-levels and Scottish Highers. This could include the
newTech-Level announcedby thegovernment last year, and should certainly
includeboostingadvanced-level apprenticeships. Suchstepswillmakesurewe
areopeninguppathwaysforprogression.
James
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