Figures prepared for the government’s Skills Task Force
over-estimate skill levels in the UK workforce, according to a report from
The Occupations in the Future report discredits claims by the
task force that the new economy has raised skill levels in the UK workforce.
According to the report, the number of skilled jobs was
offset by an increase in the number of less skilled jobs.
Between 1995 and 2000 the number of IT professionals did
increase by 147,000 but the creation of a further 160,000 less skilled sales
assistants negated the increase.
The number of people working in childcare and in retail jobs
also increased by 90,000.
Business Strategies research director Neil Blake said,
“There is no evidence that occupational change, caused by the new economy, is
heralding a rise in the skill levels of the workforce, despite the research for
the Dfee’s Skills Task Force which says otherwise.”
Overall, the Dfee’s research showed a 2 per cent skills increase
between 1991 and 1998.
But the report claimed skills levels had remained almost
By Richard Staines