The UK is being left with a major shortage of skilled engineers following a sharp rise in the number of school-leavers studying arts and humanities degrees, according to Lord Baker.
In an interview with the Telegraph, he attacked the “totally unrealistic” target imposed by the last Labour government designed to get 50 per cent of young people into higher education.
The Conservative peer, who introduced GCSEs (The General Certificate of Secondary Education), said the move had left teenagers with the false impression that the only “pathway to success” is to achieve three A-levels and proceed onto university.
By 2011, a record 49 per cent of the age group had started – or planned to start – a degree course, latest figures show.
But he warned that as many as half of graduates were now being left unemployed or in low-skilled jobs after finishing university with qualifications that fail to meet the needs of the modern economy.
Source: The Telegraph