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King’s speech fails to address chronic skills crisis

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King’s speech fails to address chronic skills crisis

The National Centre for Universities and Business notes that King Charles III’s speech fails to address the chronic skills crisis.

The focus on reducing ‘poor quality university degrees’ in today’s King’s speech is a concern, for the organisation, they note ‘due to that more than half of businesses in the UK are currently experiencing skills shortages.’ These findings are according to the NCUB, a membership organisation of UK universities and businesses.

Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive NCUB:

“It’s concerning that today’s King’s Speech referenced cutting down ‘poor quality university degrees’. At a time of serious and widespread economic uncertainty, we should be celebrating the fact that our nation’s universities generate the skilled and versatile workforce that businesses require, contributing to the nation’s recovery in the post-pandemic era. Having a degree is typically associated with higher wages, increasing opportunity and driving productivity.”

The National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) represents a collective voice of leaders across higher education and business and aims to tackle issues of shared interest. The NCUB is an independent and not-for-profit membership organisation that promotes, develops and supports university-business collaboration across the UK. The organisation was originally established in 1986, and NCUB was formed in 2013.

Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive NCUB:

“More worrying still is that the type of course selected for a cap is more likely to be one with a high proportion of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. This punishes universities that push boundaries to widen social mobility.

“We do however recognise and commend today’s focus on increasing the number of young people undertaking high quality apprenticeships. Diversifying pathways into education is vital if we are to meet future skills needs and the need for action to address our chronic skills crisis in the short and medium term remains. We are calling on the Government to create a dedicated body responsible for gathering labour market insights to inform future policymaking. This body should play a crucial role in enhancing the understanding of labour market needs for businesses, universities, and the Government alike.”

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