Four medical engineers talking in circle
Four medical engineers talking in circle

Labour is today [Wednesday] warning that Conservative failures on further education are leading to rising vacancies in key industries such as health and care while the number of further education students in these subjects in declining.

New data has revealed there were 133,000 vacancies in health and social work from February to April this year while information and communication industries had 41,000 vacancies. This has followed a steady rise in vacancies over the last decade, with the health sector in particular seeing vacancies more than double from the same quarter in 2011.

In contrast, Labour analysis shows the number of students in these subjects is declining with healthcare apprentice numbers falling by over 50,000 since 2015 and overall health and care further education student numbers falling by over 153,000 in the past three years, with information and communication technology student numbers falling by over 52,000 during the same period.

Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:

“The Conservatives’ failures on education are translating into serious skills shortages for across our public services and economy: as vacancies within crucial services such as NHS and social care have risen, student numbers have declined.

“The Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee and apprenticeships incentive are compounding this failure, excluding millions of jobs and failing to create the opportunities our country needs.

“Labour is calling for Ministers to put skills and further education at the heart of our pandemic recovery with an apprenticeship wage subsidy and jobs promise to give opportunities to every young person.”

Read Labour’s the full press release here.

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