This lunchtime discussion launched a the new briefing paper by CAGE academic Dr Thijs van Rens: The Skills Gap: Is it a myth?. This event was held in association with the University of Warwick’s Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
Concern is growing in advanced economies, and in particular in the UK, about the skills gap: the growing gulf between the skills workers possess today and the skills businesses say they need. The concerns are often focused on shortages of workers with skills in subjects such as science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), but increasingly also on ‘soft skills’ like problem solving, team working and communication. However, are we right to believe that the problem is one of insufficient supply of skills?
Dr Thijs van Rens will set out his analysis, based on US data, which shows that the source of labour market mismatch is that market wages do not reflect the relative demand for different types of skills. He will argue that the position often taken for granted in the public debate – that the skills gap is a supply problem – is incorrect.