CBI queries skills plan

December 14, 2007

The director-general of the Confederation of British Industry has cast doubt on the Government's flagship policy to increase university- level skills in the workplace.

Richard Lambert said businesses had "very little interest at all" in government targets for raising the proportion of employees with degrees. And he warned there was a feeling within industry that "more means less" - that the quality of graduates was being sacrificed in favour of quantity.

He said he was worried that Lord Leitch's target, for 40 per cent of the workforce to be qualified to degree level by 2020, was now "quoted as if it were carved on tablets brought down by Moses from the mountain top".

He also questioned the Government's co-funding strategy, which he said would see employers sharing the costs of developing new courses and contributing to course fees. "Businesses are not going to step up to the plate just because the public purse is too constrained and because students can't afford to pay more either," he said.

He added: "Businesses can and do pay for training employees in the skills that they need in the workplace today and tomorrow. But they can't be expected to invest in the knowledge that society might be needing in five or ten years' time."

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns