Sunday, June 08, 2014

UK: Graduates fill 20% of low-skilled jobs as university boom leaves huge numbers over-qualified

One in five workers in low-skilled jobs now hold degrees, a report published today warns.

The growing number of workers who are over-qualified for their role is largely the result of a huge expansion in university education, according to centre-left think-tank the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).

Its report, Winning the Global Race, casts serious doubt on the Government’s drive to boost  economic growth by encouraging more young people to study for degrees.

The IPPR says the ‘number of high-skilled jobs has not kept pace with the rate at which workers are becoming more highly qualified’.

This means the huge rise in the number of graduates has not been matched by the number of professional, graduate-level jobs, leaving many forced to work in roles for which they are highly over-qualified.

School-leavers would in fact be better prepared for the job market by doing an apprenticeship instead of racking up huge debts at university, the report says.

While the number of graduate roles are falling, there will be an expansion in the number of medium- and low-skilled jobs which rely on vocational qualifications over the next decade.

The IPPR claims the notion that future job opportunities will be concentrated in high-skilled graduate positions has been ‘overplayed’.

Researchers analysed data from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and Office for National Statistics. They estimate that by 2022, just over a third of all jobs created will be in high-skilled occupations requiring qualifications such as degrees.

There will be an additional 3.6million jobs in medium-skilled occupations, including ‘associate professional’ roles in health care, trades and public services.

All these industries employ high numbers of people with vocational qualifications equivalent to A-level or above, or those who have done apprenticeships.

In low-skilled sectors, there will be an additional 5.7million jobs in sales, customer service, secretarial work, trades, administration and machine operation – which tend to require GCSEs, ‘Level 2’ NVQs or BTECs. However, around 20 per cent of workers in this sector are currently qualified to foundation degree level or above.

The report says: ‘The emphasis on general university degrees may be producing more graduates than are required in some sectors of the labour market.

‘A fifth of workers in low-skilled occupations hold a higher education qualification, prompting fears their skills are not being properly used in the workplace.

‘There is also a danger that this might be “bumping down” other workers in the labour market.’

The Edge Foundation, which  promotes vocational learning and commissioned the report, said nine of the ten most in-demand occupations of the future will require vocational skills.

These include roles in caring and personal services, such as care workers and dental nurses, as well as health and social care positions such as social workers.


Teachers ban parents from attending school sports day in case it leads to a 'Hillsborough-style crush' on playing field

Teachers have banned parents from attending a school sports day in case it leads to a 'Hillsborough-style crush' on the playing field, it has been claimed.

The bizarre ruling was enforced at Glapton Academy primary school in Clifton, Nottinghamshire, this week.

Headteacher Ruth Ellis wrote to parents telling them they were not invited to next month’s event, which includes the traditional egg and spoon race, because of 'rising pupil numbers'.

The school claimed an increase in the number of parents wanting to cheer on their children could cause a crush on the playing fields.

Some parents even say they were told the school implemented the ban in order to 'avoid another Hillsborough'.

The newsletter to parents sent on Monday stated: 'Thursday 3rd July is planned for sports day.

'Unfortunately, due to rising pupil numbers, we will not be able to invite parents to sports day this year.'

Yesterday, furious parents blasted the decision branding it 'health and safety gone mad'.

David Elliott, 35, whose six-year-old son attends the school, said: 'This is bonkers. Simple as that.

'We got a letter from school saying parents would not be invited to this year’s sports day.

'I rang the school up and spoke to someone who said it was because of health and safety.

'I asked what that meant and the woman said it was because there were more pupils at the school and therefore more potential parents coming on sports day.

'When I asked what the school was afraid might happen she said there was a potential for a crush. I said "what like Hillsborough?" sort of as a joke, and she said "yes".'

'I was gobsmacked. I’ve never heard anything do ridiculous in my life.'

Other parents threatened to boycott the sports day on July 3 in protest at the ban.

Vicky Samson, 32, whose two children Elliott, 11, and Daisy-May, five, go to the school, said: 'I’m not happy about this at all.

'If we can’t watch, then my children will not be taking part in the sports day.

'My son is in Year 6, so it will be his last sports day - I really want to see him compete.

'The sports day is held on a massive field as well and it’s never full.

'They manage to cram all the parents into a school hall, but apparently we won’t be able to watch on the huge field.'

Lisa Darby, 32, whose six-year-old daughter Libby is in Year 1, added: 'I was absolutely fuming when I read the letter.

'Sports day should be a family event and parents should be able to share their child’s excitement at taking part in all the races.

'It’s also a big part of growing up - I remember having my parents there at every sports day when I was a child.  'They even used to take part in things like the egg-and-spoon race.'

Ms Darby said she was allowed to attend every sports day when her older daughter Chloe, 13, was a pupil at the school.  She added: 'It just seems really unfair on Libby now, that she can’t have her mum and dad there like Chloe did.

'I just can’t understand the decision. It seems a big enough sports field to me and I don’t think there are more pupils there than last year.'

Manda Wilkinson, 26, said her son Logan, eight, was upset to learn his parents wouldn’t be able to cheer him on.  She said: 'I find it disgusting that the school aren’t giving us the choice over whether we want to come or not.

'When you’re a working parent, it’s hard to get involved in school life, so you have to take every opportunity you can.  'Are they going to stop us watching the Christmas plays next?'

The primary school, which only became an academy in January 2013, was rated 'good' by Ofsted in their last inspection in June last year.

Inspectors reported that the school - which caters for boys and girls aged between 3-11 - had 318 pupils on the roll, an increase from 284 who attended in 2010.

The teachers’ union NASUWT also hit out at Glapton Academy, blaming their new status for the decision.

Neil Lawrence, secretary of the union in Nottingham, said: 'The decision to ban parents from sports day is another example of the loss of control the community feels when a local school becomes an academy and withdraws from local authority control.

Roger Steel, Conservative Nottingham City Councillor for the Clifton North ward, added: 'It’s traditional that parents attend sports days and I can’t see any logic behind restricting them.

'There’s a benefit to both the children and the parents, who are proud to see their youngsters getting fit through sport.'

The Association for Physical Education has also criticised the school’s decision.  Spokesman Eileen Marchant said: 'Schools always have reasons for making decisions but it’s a shame this school hasn’t made public its reasons.

'Parents always enjoy going to school sports days and it’s important to have them there to encourage the children.

'So much investment has been put into primary schools through the Government’s PE and school sport premium.

'One of the things schools are expected to do with this is increase competitive opportunities for children. Sports day would be an ideal opportunity to showcase how they are achieving this.'

However, Nick Ydlibi, chairman of governors, said: 'No parent has contacted the school to comment on the matter of us being 'unable to invite' parents to our sports day this year.

'Safeguarding our children is our main priority. We feel that due to the rise in pupil numbers along with the close proximity of current major road and tram works a lot of strangers are in and around our school locality.

'Because of this it would be extremely difficult for us to guarantee the safety of our children at an outdoor event with open gates; this is why this year, this very difficult decision has had to be made.

'Our school offers parents lots of opportunities to come to special indoor events, such as Glapton’s Got Talent, our Art Gallery, and Show Time events which are happening in June and July.'


Nursery offers place to toddler but rejects twin sister because 'she lives too far away' (even though they live in the same house)

A nursery has offered a place to a toddler but rejected her twin sister because 'she lives too far away' even though they live in the same house.

Selma Abbey, 32, a beauty therapist, of Martens Avenue in Bexley, London, applied for two places at Hurst Primary School in nearby Dorchester Avenue for three-year-old twins Leya and Ella in January.

Their sister Ayla, five, already attends the school which is about two miles from their family home.

However, on May 17 Mrs Abbey received a letter from Bexley Council informing her Ella’s application had been unsuccessful because the family’s home is too far away from the school.

The mother-of-three has since been told that although the council made a mistake there is nothing that can be done to secure Ella a place.

The girls now face being separated.

She said: 'Apparently the current issue is staff ratios.

'There’s no appeal system so the only thing I’m clinging on to now is the hope that another family
rejects their offer.

'Even though none of this is the school’s fault, they’ll have to clean up this mess.

'They’ve made calls to the council on my behalf without me even asking them to, and they’ve expressed their outrage which was kind.

'I’m now wondering if the only way out is to reject Leya’s place and write a late application to a separate school, which I absolutely do not want to do.

'I can’t physically be in two places at once during school run time.'

The twins currently attend Tweenies pre-school at Bexleyheath which starts at 9.15am, allowing Mrs to drop off Ayla at school beforehand.

A spokesman for Bexley Council said: 'We are very sorry for the distress that this mistake has caused.

'This year we received more than 1,694 nursery applications and 3,078 primary applications.

'Unfortunately the volume of these applications can sometimes mean an error occurs.'

Bexley Council says the majority of applications for primary school places are decided on home to school distance, except for faith schools.

Parents are advised to be realistic and include the closest school to their home address when deciding on the preferences to list on the application form.

This will increase the likelihood of the council being able to o ffer a local school, although there is no guarantee of this.

Hurst Primary School was turned into an Academy in 2013.

Since the MailOnline contacted Bexley Council this morning, the local authority has now offered Ella a place at the nursery and has apologised once again for the error.


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