At least 100 more University Technical Colleges should be set up in the next six years to help tackle the skills gap, according to a new report.

In an independent review of the economy carried out for the Labour party, former education minister Lord Adonis says UTCs should be a “priority” when building new schools to help increase opportunities for technical education.

UTCs offer technical education to 14-19-year-olds, specialising in subjects where there is a shortage of skills. There are currently 17 across the country with another 33 approved.

However Lord Adonis says this is not enough: “They are a long way from having a major impact on the economy’s skills shortages,” his review says.

Eight of the 24 recommendations in the report, Mending the Fractured Economy, focus on solving the skills mismatch – the gap between what education offers and what employers want.

Lord Adonis recommends a major expansion of high-quality youth apprenticeships, including trebling the number of Stem (science, technology, engineering, maths) youth apprenticeships by 2020, as well as building stronger links between schools and employers. He recommends that every secondary school in England should appoint a full-time director of enterprise and employment.

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