More learning means more earning? Comments on some recent literature

Education is widely considered to have a significant influence on the general performance of the economy, as well as on an individual’s returns in the labour market. In contrast to the physical assets of an enterprise, education is regarded as ‘human capital’.  Because educated workers add more value, then according to this logic, the more … Continue reading More learning means more earning? Comments on some recent literature


FE White Paper critiques

Read my contribution Another round of vocational qualifications won't create good jobs pse-allenDownload along with other critiques of the Further Education White Paper in the latest edition of Post 16 Educator http://www.post16educator.org.uk Download Martin Allen & Patrick Ainley's Skills without Jobs? The Further Education White Paper and beyond skills-without-jobsDownload


Williamson’s White Paper: ‘Skills Without Jobs’?

The much-awaited White Paper skills-for-jobs-lifelong-learning-for-opportunity-and-growthDownload has been published this week. It's a long and tedious read, but here's an initial response. Rather than just summarising the contents, it seeks to provide some context. Almost every serious analysis of changes in the occupational structure at the start of the 21st century recognises an increased polarisation of … Continue reading Williamson’s White Paper: ‘Skills Without Jobs’?

Stuck in the middle with Williamson

With the economy experiencing a huge downturn, attention has focussed on likely loss of jobs in the hospitality and retail sectors, many of which are considered ‘low skilled’ (as well as disproportionately performed by young people). But according to the OECD’s Employment Outlook  for 2020, In the United Kingdom, new online job postings for middle-skill … Continue reading Stuck in the middle with Williamson

UTCs. Another expensive failure?

What's happened to University Technology Colleges - the 14-19 schools created by one time Secretary of State Kenneth (now Lord) Baker? Citing ‘academic snobbery’ for the failure to establish proper technical education in this country, which he argues has caused skill shortages and contributed to further industrial decline, Baker has established  60 UTCs with  employer … Continue reading UTCs. Another expensive failure?

Can you ever be ‘overeducated’?

New ONS data  shows a third of graduates with more education that is required for the work they were doing 2017. This shouldn’t surprise anybody. Many other studies have reached similar conclusions. What is significant is that rather than focusing on those that have left university in the last few months (many of whom will … Continue reading Can you ever be ‘overeducated’?

Labour, vocational education and skills

Labour has published its national policy forum response on education. There's  a great deal  to be welcomed, but for some areas, most notably  post-16 and Further Education, proposals are  largely absent and where they are addressed, are scant and uniformed. See the following quote on vocational and technical education for example: ‘ The Open University … Continue reading Labour, vocational education and skills

Education and the digital age

Discussion continues about the employment implications of Artificial Intelligence and robotics. If there is an emerging consensus, then it’s that there will be continued automation of ‘routine’ work   –particularly clerical, administrative and secretarial jobs in offices/banks for example, but that  ‘non-routine’ and  ‘personalised’ jobs, that are more difficult and more expensive to automate will likely … Continue reading Education and the digital age

Education without jobs

Today’s  ONS Labour Market Bulletin, provides further  data about the changing  relationship between young people, education and employment.  Even if it’s still much higher than for other age groups, youth unemployment continues to fall.  For July to September 2017, joblessness  for 16 to 24 year olds was 11.9% ( down from  13.1%  a year earlier … Continue reading Education without jobs

T-levels get the go ahead

Chancellor Philip Hammond’s ‘Brexit budget’ has              confirmed the UK  government is to go ahead - and spend £500 million on the new ‘college based’ technical education pathway - now to be referred to as T-levels.  Based on proposals in last summer’s Sainsbury Review and the Cameron government’s Post-16 Plan, … Continue reading T-levels get the go ahead