How Education Can Boost Wages and Solve the Cost of Living Crisis for UK Workers

Claudia Reiners
May 20, 2022

How Education Can Boost Wages and Solve the Cost of Living Crisis for UK Workers

4bf428ed6af9ff680b7ac8b24b046f3d?s=50&d=mm&r=g Claudia Reiners
Head of Strategy

With UK inflation at its highest level in nearly 30 years and wages stagnating, education must play a role in training and upskilling workers to fill higher qualified roles.

A healthy job market and a growing appetite for remote working has led to an increase in opportunities for UK workers. Our economy follows a natural cycle – as jobs and skills demands rise, education and training must also increase. 

Therefore, training providers are well-placed to help workers upskill and reskill – unlocking higher-qualified occupations and salaries.

Below, we’ll delve into ways education providers can help learners grow their careers and wages in a way that keeps up with, and even supersedes, the rising levels of inflation.

An unrewarded workforce

Despite employees’ hard work throughout the pandemic, staff are now economically worse off, and are facing less financial support going into 2022.

UK workers saw their wages rise by 3.8% at the end of 2021. However, this statistic actually resulted in a wage cut of -0.8% when accounting for inflation.

This shows no signs of improving either. The Bank of England says high levels of inflation could take years rather than months to improve. Workers can no longer rely on hard work alone to boost their take-home pay, and will need to turn to other methods to guarantee themselves a positive salary boost.

Workers seeking higher-paying flexible jobs opportunities

Despite insufficient wage growth, some professionals are able to boost their salaries by entering an employee-tilted job market. 

The ONS reported that since there are 1.3 million vacancies in the UK, employees can be pickier and more demanding when it comes to salary, flexible working, and other benefits. 

Additional data from YouGov shows that one in five UK workers want to work completely from home and nearly half (43%) saying that they prefer to work from home at least some of the time. 

British workers unhappy with their current wage and working situations will find themselves searching for new roles – that include rewarding work, flexible working environments and financial increases – elsewhere in the near future. 

Regional wage disparities in the UK will also cause workers to use remote working as a way to source higher wages from companies in other regions of the country. 

Those working in London take home a median weekly salary that is £181 higher than those working in the North-East of England. This statistic clearly demonstrates a geographic imbalance when it comes to labour remuneration. 

Remote work opportunities could and can be the key to helping lower-paid workers access high-paying jobs from businesses elsewhere.

Education as a tool for new employee opportunities

Although the current employee-centric job market may alleviate some wage concerns, there is a better solution to combating career stagnation and inflation. 

Further study can help more workers unlock new skills and qualify for higher positions and salaries. 

Those who have a higher level of education can expect higher earnings in their career. The IFS found that those with a university degree will earn 20% more over their lifetime than those without one. 

Education providers can utilise this trend to demonstrate the impact of further study to potential learners. Any qualification will have a positive impact on earnings and enable workers to vie for higher-paying occupations.

Benefits aren’t just limited to longer-term courses. Short courses can be an essential tool in helping employees find flexible and lucrative employment opportunities. 

For employees who want to use remote work as a way to find more lucrative remote employment, micro-courses and fast-paced skills training will give them the edge they need to nab their desired roles.

Today’s employers are seeking workers with more diverse skill sets. A survey conducted by found that employers were 2.6 times more confident to hire remote workers if they passed specific skills tests.

From another perspective, employers wanting to keep staff by offering higher wages can benefit from implementing training courses as well. 

For some companies, it can be challenging to justify wage increases if there isn’t a guarantee of improved productivity. However, providers can demonstrate how targeted and precise training can ramp up productivity, therefore allowing them to subsequently increase wages and retain staff.

By setting up dedicated programmes designed to increase productivity and knowledge, employers can fast-track wage progression in a way that rewards both the company and employees alike.

Education providers can play a pivotal role in helping ambitious employees increase their salaries through further education and training.

In an uncertain workplace, employers and employees alike can rely on education providers to provide the route towards higher wages and more rewarding work.

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Claudia Reiners
Head of Strategy
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