England’s Skills Puzzle: Piecing together further education, training and employment

Posted 16.03.2020

The Skills Commission has launched its report, England’s Skills Puzzle: piecing together further education, training and employment. Following a year-long inquiry, led by the Learning & Work Institute and Policy Connect and chaired by Sir John Hayes MP, the Commission makes recommendations for creating a clear skills and lifelong learning strategy and a funding system that encourages providers to work together.

It follows a 12-month inquiry throughout 2019 in Westminster, Lincolnshire, the Tees Valley and the West of England – receiving evidence from over 80 contributors in the process including: employers, providers, learners and representatives of local and national government.

The Commission found that employers are struggling to engage in an overly centralised skills system. Unlike other developed countries, England lacks channels to engage employers on a collective basis and has few local levers to adjust provision to meet local needs. Furthermore, a restricted and volatile funding system that promotes competition over collaboration is limiting the ability of colleges and training providers to respond effectively to local employers at a time when retraining and upskilling is becoming more important than ever.


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