The OECD has published a report “Getting Skills Right: United Kingdom”, as part of the broader OECD programme of work on how to achieve a better alignment of skill supply and skill demand. That programme focuses on: i) understanding how countries collect and use information on skill needs; ii) investigating cost-effective training and labour market policies to tackle skill mismatch and shortages; iii) studying the incentives of training providers and participants to respond to changing skill needs, and iv) setting up a database of skill needs indicators. For the UK, the report notes a low labour productivity growth, which is linked to the observation that many employees work in occupations, not directly related to their training. The validity of this link may be doubted, when one sees that the report also mentions transversal (or ‘general academic’ or ‘meta-cognitive’) skills as crucial challenges in skill/shortage vacancies.
The report notes that the UK has made a big jump in Tertiary education attainment: from 26% in 2000 to 42% in 2014; this jump is ascribed to the HE reform in England towards full-cost tuition fees with a major study loan system.