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Improve skills or 'economy doomed'

Friday July 30th 2010

Systems which provide new skills and employment need to be massively improved if the UK wants to maintain its global economic ranking, the Commission for Employment and Skills has said.

A report issued by the group also said the number of apprenticeships available for young people needs to be increased.

Chief executive of the commission Chris Humphries said: "At the moment, our economy is still world-class, quite an achievement for such a small island, but we're living on past glories. Economic success rests on three legs: skills, jobs and productivity, and we are well below average on the first of these.

"Unless swift and decisive action is taken, we can expect the UK's economy to begin to slide down the international rankings."

A spokesman for the Business Department said: "Our priorities are to build an internationally competitive skills base and ensure we have a skills system that supports people into work and then to progress. We have already created 50,000 new apprenticeship places, and are bringing in a new integrated careers advice service, as well as asking universities to provide information about employability prospects of the degrees they are studying.

"Over the summer we will be consulting with employers, individuals, colleges and training organisations on a future strategy for skills, which will be published in the autumn."

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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