The 10 things that need to change – UK Skills System

The 10 things that need to change – UK Skills System

I’d like to share with you the interim report of the Future-Ready Skills Commission, of which I am a member. 

Published on 6 November, we argue that the current skills system is complex and highly centralised, making it hard for businesses, individuals and providers like schools and colleges to meet the needs of their local economies. 

Our interim report is based on an extensive review of the skills system, bringing together evidence from national and international experts and examples from areas that have already progressed approaches to skills devolution.

We have identified 10 things we believe must change in order to create a devolved skills system that works for employers, individuals and training providers at a local level:

I’ve attached a summary of the interim report’s findings and you can read the full report online at https://bit.ly/2oQSFJA

  • Careers information needs to be relevant to the local labour market and empower individuals to make informed decisions.
  • Employment and skills should be integrated within local housing, transport and environment strategies.
  • The local approach to skills, employment and health needs to be joined up to support progression to work.
  • The skills offer for businesses needs to be simplified through coordination at the level of functional economic areas.
  • Investment in technical education and skills should be increased to sustainable levels.
  • Greater collaboration is needed in order to spread good workplace practices to improve business performance and productivity.
  • The learning offer should be simplified and made more affordable, with the right level of finance that removes barriers to access and supports progression in learning.
  • Employers need to be motivated to train and re-train staff and support progression at all levels, including those in lower paid work to gain higher level skills.
  • Local areas should have strengthened responsibilities for planning the provision of technical education and training so that it is responsive to local economic priorities. 
  • Employers need greater influence over the design and delivery of technical training to ensure it is responsive to local economic priorities.

On behalf of the Future-Ready Skills Commission, I would welcome any thoughts or feedback you have on this subject. You can get in touch with the commission via email at skillscommission@westyorks-ca.gov.uk

The Future-Ready Skills Commission is an independent Commission supported by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and made up of experts and leading thinkers from business, education, local government and think tanks. 

Its primary scope is to understand how the skills system, from post-16 education through to adult skills and career development, could be shaped to better meet the needs of local economies with greater devolution across England, while meeting future challenges and opportunities in the workplace. futurereadyskillscommission.com

Mandy Crawford-Lee m.crawfordlee@bolton.ac.uk