gbsteve (gbsteve) wrote,
gbsteve
gbsteve

The state of training

I'd rather back real estate in central Detroit than buy the student loans book" - an opinion expressed in a response to the skills white paper.

The issue is that we want a high-value economy in the UK as we can't compete on cheap goods. High value requires a highly trained workforce and someone has to pay for that training. Until recently this has been the state but now the individual is contributing more. However whilst the individual cost of a degree has increased significantly, its value has dropped, partly because we don't have the high value economy to support such a highly trained workforce and partly because most of our graduates only speak English which is a serious handicap in this mobile world.

In fact, it's more serious than that. Not only does it mean that we have our own unemployed graduates but that companies need not train but instead can recruit abroad for even better trained graduates who work in lower paid economies (as most are). And because companies recruit abroad, or have moved their operations abroad, there's also little appetite from them for training and it's dropping all the time. We also have very low rates of apprenticeship as compared to Germany for example.

The Government's response is to create a market for training in which well-informed individuals can pick and pay for the training that suits them best on their chosen career path. All this requires is good LMI (Labour Market Information), good Careers Advice and training strongly linked to what business requires, pricing should find its own level as the market dictates. Oh, and money. Will banks underwrite training grants (unsecured), will business provide instead (apparently the only time it did was when faced with massive civil unrest in the 80s leading to YTS)? It doesn't seem likely at the moment.
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