6 Oct 2011
Vince Cable today delivered a scathing verdict on the skills of Britain’s workforce.
The Business Secretary condemned the failure to prepare hundreds of thousands of youngsters for the jobs market.
“We do not currently have an internationally competitive skills base,” he told a conference at the ExCel centre in London. “The reality is that, compared with other nations, we have a large number of people with low qualifications.”
He added that the UK stands 19th out of the 34 countries in the OECD group of industrialised nations in terms of skills above GCSE level.
“It’s better, I believe, to acknowledge such failings – to recognise that skills shortages contribute to the productivity gap between the UK and other leading industrial countries,” he said.
He stressed, however, that the UK fared “pretty well” in terms of graduates in science, technology, engineering and maths.