Tony Blair championed the concept of increasing the number of young people attending university more than 20 years ago. in England we are @ 49% so making progress but there is a debate as to whether this is still the right direction.
If we are to fix our talent challenges in UK plc then it is still very relevant. Employers have told the CBI that their demand for people with higher skills levels is on the increase. It is said that most children starting school now will be employed in jobs that currently do not exist.
The belief is that the skills learnt at university are going to be in great er demand in he future - analysis, problem solving, team working and communications. Therefore to help close this talent gap we need to continue to encourage the increase in university attendance.
Perhaps the other factor that needs to sit alongside this is to look at how employers identify and assess the talent they want to hire. So often we focus on the skills for the role we are trying to fill today but given the pace of change in many roles we should be looking at the "growth mindset " of talent and their ability to learn and adapt alongside traditional factors such as competencies and behaviors?
By 2030, it is estimated that there will be a UK talent deficit of between 600,000 and 1.2 million workers for both our financial and business sector and our technology, media and telecommunications sector. More graduates is not only good for the economy. A university education transforms individuals’ lives. Research shows that, on average, graduates are happier, healthier and wealthier than those that do not go to university. Studies show that graduate salaries are, on average, almost £10,000 a year higher than for non-graduates. Graduates are also significantly more likely to be in employment than those with lower qualifications.