UK needs more graduates, claims new report

More graduates are needed in the long term, but skills should be the ‘right areas’ claims a new report from The Work Foundation.

More graduates are needed in the long term, but skills should be the ‘right areas’ claims a new report from The Work Foundation.
Despite the high levels of graduates unable to find employment, the Work Foundation insists the UK economy needs a boost in the number of graduates.
Currently, 51% of women go on to higher education in the UK compared to just 40% of men.
But graduate unemployment is up 25% compared to previous years amid criticism that the country is lacking key skills needed to rejuvenate the economy.
The Work Foundation claims more graduates are vital and the only viable option will be to increase fees.
But these graduates will need to have better quality skills in the right areas to support the sectors that will drive recovery and economic growth over the next decade.
Charles Levy, author of the report, said: ”Despite the dramatic expansion in students graduating each year, the economy does not have an oversupply of graduates – high unemployment is affecting graduates in the short-term, but as the economy recovers long-term demand will increase as the knowledge economy develops.
”Knowledge economy activities depend on the ability of workers to process, synthesise, interpret and communicate information – key graduate skills.”
Employment in knowledge associated occupations – managerial, professional and technical – rose by 30,000 between the first quarters of 2008 and 2010.
In contrast, manual, administrative and unskilled occupations saw a fall in employment of three quarters of a million in the same period.
Ian Brinkley, associate director of The Work Foundation, said: ”Jobs which depend on graduate skills have fared well in the recession – employment in knowledge associated occupations has increased in the past two years despite the recession.
”Job losses have been concentrated in manual, administrative and unskilled occupations.  In this way the recession has accelerated progress towards the knowledge economy.  This is strenghtening the long-term need for more graduates with the right skills.
”This demand will need to be met through both the sustained expansion of the higher education sector, and through less restrictive migration policy for high level skills.”

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