Guardian HE Network: It’s foolish to argue that we don’t need so many graduates in the UK

Students at Plymouth University

Our chair Professor Steve West, Vice-Chancellor of UWE Bristol, has responded to the CIPD report that claims the number of people graduating from university now vastly outweighs the number of high-skilled jobs available.

Professor West writes in the Guardian HE Network Blog, “But [CIPD’s] warning seems extremely shortsighted in its assumptions – if anything, graduate employment opportunities are improving and we’ll need more people with degrees in future.

“While the CIPD report threatens to put people off higher education, the CBI has forecast that by 2022, half of all jobs will require workers to have completed some form of higher education at level 4 or above.

If the UK is to build a strong economic future around a hi-tech economy, it will require highly skilled graduates and technicians…”

“…Even in the short-term, there are problems with the CIPD survey. It is not truly reflective of the current market because it is based on European Social Survey data from 2010, when the job market was much bleaker for graduates. The Higher Education Statistics Agency actually reported a rise in professional graduate employment in July this year – 69% of university-leavers who had gone straight into work were in professional jobs.”

You can read the full blog here and our response to the report here.

Further reading