UK productivity plan analysis and commentary: part one

This is the first in a series of posts which explore the recent budget, focusing on how this will effect employability and the higher education sector.

Image credit: mrgarethm

Image credit: mrgarethm

Earlier this month, the introduction of the first all-Conservative government budget for 18 years was centred on one dominant theme – raising UK productivity levels to create a more prosperous nation. The measures introduced as part of this drive to raise productivity ranged from decreasing corporation tax and raising tax allowances, to introducing a national living wage. However, despite not making headlines in the press, skills and human capital themes were also on the agenda. Since those themes are directly linked with Gradintel’s core mission, we wanted to share some thoughts.

The key link between productivity and economic growth
Firstly, Mr Osborne named raising the nation’s productivity as the key challenge of our time. He emphasized that the UK is currently lagging behind France, Germany, Canada and the US in this respect. Productivity is directly linked to household income levels, wage differences and average living standards across countries. In all countries where average wages are above the UK level, the productivity is also higher.

The UK has been very successful in increasing employment rates during the past few years, over 2 million new jobs have been created – more than any other EU country during the same period. However, as no nation has an unlimited workforce, it will become increasingly difficult to keep growth just by adding new employment opportunities into the economy. Greater consideration, therefore, needs to be given to the better utilisation of existing positions. This should be done through improving workforce productivity and smoothening the transition from education to entry level employment. This is something which is at the heart of Gradintel’s mission. Our system is uniquely positioned to help with this, using our advanced talent matching algorithm which has already placed many graduates in well suited job positions.

Mr Osborne put forward a vision of a world-beating productivity plan aimed at raising the nation’s living standards. He aims to do this by creating a dynamic and open enterprising economy, supported by long-term public and private investment in infrastructure, skills and science. The ambition of the Conservative government is to transform Britain into the world’s richest economy by 2030, while making sure that the nation uses the full skills of all citizens.

Gradintel welcomes this vision and we have already started contributing, by supporting the link between the employment market and graduate talent. An early recognition of that gap led to the establishment of Gradintel as an advanced online talent platform that connects current university students and fresh graduates with newly created entry level opportunities. As our user base matures, we will increasingly enable targeting more experienced alumni for existing higher-level roles. This means that we are uniquely placed to help address the entire growth generation cycle and hope to make a difference in the UK’s quest for increased productivity and the resulting economic prosperity.

Two major points of the government’s productivity plan are of specific interest to Gradintel’s objectives, which we would like to address in more detail. The first one is supporting and developing a highly skilled workforce, with employers in the driving seat. The other looks at close cooperation with world-leading universities, open to all who can benefit.

We will discuss these in the next few posts in this series – watch out for those in the next few weeks!

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