Industry: Little headway in skills shortage

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Britain and the US have made "very little" progress in reducing the proportions of workers with little or no skills in the period between 1985 and 1994, according to the Centre For Economic Performance at the London School of Economics. Far greater progress has been made in France, Germany and Singapore, the study says.

The authors blame a lack of wage differentials between the unskilled group and those with "intermediate" qualifications - the equivalent of five or more GCSEs. Individuals in the "Anglo-Saxon" countries also said it was only worthwhile achieving skills in the middle range if there was a greater possibility of going on to higher education.