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Page last updated at 08:28 GMT, Thursday, 19 August 2010 09:28 UK

Is the UK facing a skills 'timebomb'?

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Students are receiving their A-level results across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. But does the A-level system put too much emphasis on academic achievement?

"We're sitting on a ticking time bomb with skills," President of the Electrical Contractors Association Diane Johnson warned on the Today programme.

People with vocational jobs are now perceived as "second class citizens", she argued, but it is skilled people who will become "the captains of industry in the future".

But Aaron Porter, of the National Union of Students, thinks more, not less, graduates are needed to stimulate economic growth.

"Those with the aspiration and the ability to go to university shouldn't be denied that chance," he told Justin Webb.

Entrepreneur Simon Woodroffe, however, says education needs to diversify from a "one way or another" system.

Whether people take the graduate route or not, in the future business and industry will be "more and more involved in the education of the people that are going to come into their world".


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