ITV Business Club warning over skills shortage

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Richard Ward says that often graduates enter the workforce lacking in basic literacy and numeracy Photo:

'If we don't have an appropriately skilled workforce it's very hard to see how we'll get out of this recession'. Tonight a second member of the ITV News Business Club, Richard Ward, the boss of the biggest insurance market in the world, tells us the government must increase education spending and spend the budget 'smarter' so we can compete.

Ward says too many secondary school pupils and even graduates emerge into the workforce short on basic skills like literacy and numeracy. There are even maths graduates without good enough maths skills and there is a shortage of language graduates that his company needs.

His firm, Lloyd's of London is trying to plug some of the gaps itself, putting money and time into local schools in Tower Hamlets, one of the most deprived parts of the whole country, a stone's throw from the gleaming skyscrapers of the City. But he believes unless politicians give more focus to the education system there is a very real risk that the UK will fall behind.