The OECD has published its annual Education at a Glance report, which compares various education statistics between its 36 member countries. The report shows the strong link in the UK between education and employment – with graduates in the UK having among the lowest unemployment rates among OECD countries. The UK’s labour market still has “severe” penalties for those with poor qualifications, particularly among the young. Women without qualifications are more likely than men to be out of the workforce. Graduates on average earn 48% more than those who have got no further than getting five good GCSEs or the equivalent. And this premium is enough to ensure that going to university is still cost effective, despite the fees. As well as higher earnings, the OECD says, the higher taxation paid by UK graduates “far outweighs the public cost of their education”. But the study also highlights concerns about the mismatch between skills and jobs – quoting figures from 2012 showing that about a quarter of graduates could be over-qualified for their jobs.
Read the full report here.