The London School of Economics is calling for education to target the skills
needs of the economy after finding a large proportion of British employees are
overeducated for their roles.
An analysis of surveys from recent years found there was a "serious problem"
in the UK of people having more educational qualifications than they need to do
their jobs, such as estate agents with PhDs or secretaries with degrees.
About 30 per cent of the population was overeducated in 1986 and 1997,
according to studies.
Overeducation was found to be a particular problem among those strong on
literacy but weak on numeracy.
Each point gained in the National Child Development numeracy test cuts the
likelihood of being overeducated by 2 per cent, the research shows.
Staff with arts or humanities degrees are most likely to be overeducated,
while those who have studied engineering, science and business management are
less likely to be affected.
"This suggests that the skills being acquired are not those demanded by
the labour market," says the report. "Rather than reducing the number
of graduates, one solution might be to pay more attention to the mix of
subjects being studied."