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How important is skill development among youth in the UK?

Updated: Apr 26


For the UK to grab fresh opportunities and develop, it is important to have a trained and diverse labor force, upheld by good business activities and the appropriate policy setting. People and skills are the core of the economic advancement of the UK. Equipping people with appropriate knowledge, expertise, and conducts helps them to prepare for sustainable work and development, backs social flexibility, and encourages a more equal community. It implies businesses can get hold of new opportunities that can drive growth as well as productivity. It is important that companies have the employees they need to assist them to grow and flourish in a global economy; companies and learners require skills and provision of training to be both pertinent and of superior quality.

Current skill situation in the UK

Research findings suggest that while the UK performs well globally on the aspect of the provision of high-level educational credentials, with a huge proportion of the labor force educated to degree level, the UK registers only mediocre to poor grades on most other dimensions. A huge fraction of the workforce in the UK has a poor rate of literacy, mathematical ability, and computer proficiency, and evidence shows that companies are training less and spending less on their employees in comparison to what they used to two decades ago.

Improving the way skills are both completely developed and implemented is at the core of dealing with the issue of the low productivity level of the UK and the related high fraction of low-skilled and low-paid workers in the economy. Therefore, this requires improved leadership and management abilities and enhanced people management activities. Research reports examining the unexploited potential of UK skills observed that over one-third of workforces have the ability to tackle more challenging duties than they presently have. At the other end of the scale, it is noticed that one in ten stated they lacked the requisite skills required to perform their job efficiently. Thus, lessening the disparity in skills would help develop the productivity rate of the UK. A study conducted by the OECD advocates that the average productivity rate of labour could be enhanced by approximately 5% if the level of skills discrepancy in the UK was aligned with the best practice of OECD. The OECD has recognized a gap in the UK as to the provision of skills at an intermediate and technological level. While the UK government has given precedence to increase the number of apprentices, the total budget for the delivery of facilities has experienced substantial cuts in funding. Research reports on a mismatch in qualification and skills emphasized the issue of over qualification of labour force. The government has appraised that nearly 75% will not make enough to pay back their student loans, whereas too few youngsters think through vocational paths into work, for example, apprenticeships.

Skills are vital for:

· Economic development and prosperity - The economic development of a nation is based on how many individuals are engaged in work and how dynamic they are in their place of work. Enhanced use of skills existing in the workforce along with increased endowment in skills and training is said to have improved productivity. Progression in productivity and prosperity shape the circumstances for improvements in earnings, producing a ‘virtuous’ cycle.

· Individuals and businesses - For individuals, skills ascertain their potential for employment and earning. For businesses, skills are important to meet both the present and future demands of the business. To be prosperous, companies must make sure that their process of talent management and planning of succession take into account the skills that need to be sourced, supported, developed, and retained, to create effective and productive employees of the future.

The aim is to have a working population that is:

· Completely Active in the Labour Market

· Aptly Qualified

· With Expertise to Innovate and Contribute towards the prosperity of the UK

The skills policy of the UK needs to address the below-mentioned challenges:

· Improvement of skill levels.

· Increase the demand for skills among businesses.

· Develop quality apprenticeships, promote education and training on skills

· Inspire better working habits with a focus on developing and improving skills and the experience at work.

· Develop leadership and abilities of people management.

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