Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Education x 3

Degree subject by UCAS points

Education, education, education.

As our new Change to Win PM takes over, three choruses on education:

1. "My passion":

"I am passionate about education because I want a Britain where there is no cap on ambition, no ceiling on talent, no limit to where your potential will take you and how far you can rise. A Britain of talent unleashed, driving our economy and future prosperity.

I believe that taking private and public investments together, advanced industrial countries will have in future aspire to invest not 5-6-7-8 per cent of their national income, on education science and innovation but 10 per cent, one pound in every ten.
" (Brown's Mansion House speech 20.6.07)

As Reform points out, 10% of GDP spent on education represents an increase of 4.5 percentage points from today, which would likely cost taxpayers over £50bn pa (16p on the standard rate of income tax).

2. Overqualified workers:

According to the OECD, Britain already has some of the most overqualified workers in the world. 15% of our native workers are overqualified for what they do, which ranks us 5th in the international overqualification league. The US, Germany and France all do better. Overall, it seems we taxpayers already fund too much education. And we haven't even got to 50% of the population taking media studies degrees yet.

3. Deckchairs:

According to tonight's reports, Brown is going to split the Department for Education and Skills into a Schools Department and a Higher Education and Skills Department. The idea seems to be that "skills" haven't been given enough attention.

As regular readers of BOM will know, taxpayers already spend over £10bn pa plus on the nationalised "skills" industry, and it's a total disaster (eg see this blog and this). Giving it a separate department will change nothing, other than adding yet more bureaucrats.

Far better to take the money and cut business taxes. That would help businesses expand the £20bn pa they already spend on the training that actually has some value.

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