UK in skills crisis as young workers struggle with reading and maths.

The Telegraph reports that Britain is facing a severe skills shortage as poor education at schools followed by weak training for adults has left young workers struggling to meet basic standards for reading and maths.

Almost every other developed country has had more success in building a skilled workforce, leaving the UK economy at risk of falling behind, according to the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD)

England and Northern Ireland rank in the bottom four OECD countries for literacy and numeracy among 16-24 year olds, while employers invest less in skills than most other EU countries.

“This is a sobering analysis of the state of skills in the UK. Our report should serve as a real wake-up call for the Government to break with the past two decades of failed skills policy and set the UK on a new course..” said the CIPD’s skills adviser Lizzie Crowley.

“As we move towards Brexit, and possible restrictions on overseas talent, it’s crucial that government works in partnership with education providers and businesses..”

It comes after business groups urged the Government to focus the industrial strategy on improving productivity, particularly in the UK’s poorest areas, with the aim of reducing inequality and boosting living standards.

Read more UK in skills crisis as young workers struggle with reading and maths .

Ranked in the bottom 4 OECD countries. Isn’t it embarrassing? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter ~ Tamsin

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Categories: Business, Learning, Primary and Secondary.


  1. Most children learn to read and do simple maths at primary school. Having one teacher for complete school years probably aids this learning. But clearly some get to secondary school lacking competence in these skills. In secondary schools young people meet a number of different teachers each week and perhaps none of these is able to monitor reading and maths skills and promote the necessary learning. Perhaps those with only slowly developing reading and maths skills need special provision – like no more than two teachers working with them at the start of their secondary education. But the demands of the national curriculum no doubt leave schools unable to adopt such innovative practice!

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