Industry leaders warning graduates that new jobs will go to
other countries if there is a lack of skilled workers in
University and College Union (UCU) has urged the government to
invest more in higher education to provide jobs growth and help get
the country out of a double dip recession.
There is a danger that unless the UK produces
more highly-skilled workers then there is a risk many of the
jobs available to
graduates will be given to workers from abroad. The UCU is also
concerned about the amount of applicants to university having
decreased by 7.7%.
A recent study by the Institute for Public
Policy Research (IPPR) found that the cost to the government of
someone studying three A levels and a degree is £25,000, but the
over the course of their life that graduate will pay back on average £227,000
to the Exchequer. The increase of tuition fees for university and
the scrapping of Education Maintenance Allowance means’ many
students are put off higher education or find it difficult to
The UCU pointed out that to provide the best
graduates, the government needs to step up their investment into
education. Currently the UK invests just 1.7% of public expenditure
on tertiary education, compared to 2.3% in France, 2.8% in Germany
and 3.2% in the USA.
The UCU general
secretary Sally Hunt said: "With 80% of new jobs by
2020 likely to be professional or technical, the UK must invest now
in the next generation or risk losing out in the race for economic
"This research highlights the folly of reducing public
investment in our colleges and universities.
"Instead of cutting places and making it more expensive to study,
ministers need a strategy which harnesses further and higher
education to provide a window of opportunity for the next