Unless we change the nature of our education, we will see a decline/fall in formal skills in the working population
The answer here is "decline". Why can't I use "fall" here? It have the same meaning as decline right?
Loosely, yes, a decline of standards is a fall in standards.
However, formally physical objects fall, and abstract levels decline. Think of it this way: if a dam's sluice gates are opened, the water in the reservoir comes out through a waterfall, and the reservoir's water level declines.
PS. Even better: a stock market decline, a waterfall.
Last edited by abaka; 24-Jun-2012 at 15:56. Reason: added ps