Talent Matters - 6 Challenges to the UK Skills System

Education and Skills

The Labour Party have made recommendations to improve the UK skills system. The Skills Taskforce Interim Report highlights 6 problematic areas within the UK skills system as:

  1. The divide between vocational & academic education.
  2. Low levels of employer evolvement in the skills system.
  3. A fragmented education system.
  4. The need for a new vision for further education.
  5. The lack of high quality apprenticeships.
  6. Poor quality advice to navigate the transition between education and work.

Responses from the FE Sector

The 157 Group

"We are pleased that the Labour party has placed what is refers to as the 'damaging divide between vocational and academic education' at the heart of its thinking, as we have long argued that those who are successful in both work and life have a balance of theoretical and applied skill, and our education system should reflect this."

"Today's report presents a vision where FE colleges, such as those represented by the 157 Group, remain central to the provision of education and training, and recognises the broad and extensive work going on in colleges to develop those in every part of society, including for young people, for those who are employed, and for those who are unemployed or in need of a career change. We applaud the report's emphasis on the importance of further education for adults and for learning throughout life." -Lynne Sedgmore, Executive Director (read full response)


The AoC (Association of Colleges)

" [The report] sets out the problems caused by a funding system which restricts the courses colleges can deliver; the prevalence of competition between institutions rather than collaboration and the low levels of employer involvement in the skills system

“Colleges have excellent links with industry, working closely with big names such as Land Rover, Rolls Royce and EDF Energy, and devise bespoke training programmes in response to particular training needs. We note the comments about staff secondments to industry; there’s been significant investment in Teach First for schools and we’d like to see similar investment in College teacher training and support the opportunity for employers to get further involved in the delivery of skills to young people and for college staff to be seconded to industry." - Gill Clipson, Deputy Chief Executive at the Association of Colleges (read full response)


UCU - University College Union

"We agree that college lecturers should have the opportunity to spend more time in industry, but there has to be mechanisms in place to ensure employers are fully committed to providing that support."

'We desperately need better options for our young people. Record numbers of them are not working or training and politicians are right to look to education to solve the problem. However, improvements will not be achieved by simply expecting more of our excellent further education workforce and cannot be done on the cheap.

"Further education has a well-qualified, hard-working, professional workforce and the Labour Party needs to support it with commitments to invest to raise the nation's skills.' - Sally Hunt,  General Secretary, UCU (read full response)


Read the full report The Skills Taskforce Interim Report: Talent Matters-why England needs a new approach to skills pdf

TorMacleod 15:57

Employees In Fear of Job Security

Workers face increased stress and job insecurity.job fear

The recent Skills and Employment Survey found that employees are increasingly 'working in fear', with workers experiencing high levels of stress and worries over job security - more than 50% of workers are in fear of losing their job.

Francis Green, Professor of Work and Education Economics at the IOE, commented "Since the start of the recession, the growth of fear not only of employment loss but of unfair treatment and loss of status was particularly strong in the public sector."

With the latest labour market figures showing unemployment figures showing 43,000 less people in employment, the threat of job losses is becoming a major worry for the UK workers.

Read the full story from UKCES here

Tor Macleod 10:55

Infographic: UK Labour Market May 2013

UK unemployment at 2.52 million people

This months labour market statistics issue by the Office for National Statistics estimate the UK workforce from January 2013 to March 2013.

There are 43,000 fewer unemployed than in the months of October to December 2012 but unemployment levels are 434,000 higher than last year.

Our latest Labour Market Infographic gives a snapshot of the UK employed, unemployed and economic inactive population.

labour market may 2013 thumb

See the full labour market statistics on the Office for National Statistics


Like this Infographic? - copy the code below to share it on your website.

<a style="border: none;" title="UK LABOUR MARKET MAY 2013" href="http://www.macleodassociates.com/blog/posts/2013/may/16/infographic-uk-labour-market-may-2013/"><img alt="UK LABOUR MARKET MAY 2013" src="http://www.macleodassociates.com/media/87721/labour-market-may-2013-full.png" /></a><br/>Infographic by <a title="Macleod Associates" href="http://www.macleodassociates.com">Macleod Associates</a>

Tor Macleod 11:49

Labour Market a 'Battleground' for Jobseekers

Recent labour market forecasts predict continued employment growth in Q2 of 2013.employment battleground

Despite this positive outlook, the survey shows that there are 45 applicants for every low skilled job. The labour market is still very competitive especially for those with less experience, skills or qualifications.

Jobseekers will need look to training providers and FE colleges to arm them with the skills they need to get an upper hand in this employment 'battleground'.

Find out more >

Tor Macleod 10:53

Infographic: Educating the Unemployed

Last month the Association of Colleges (AoC) researched into college provision and delivery of training to the unemployed.

The survey examined the amount of support available to colleges and the key problems they experience in delivering employability training. Many colleges (71%) admitted that they struggled to track employment outcomes. 

"Inconsistent rules about what types of courses are funded, the availability of local jobs and the difficulties colleges have in tracking student progress are the biggest barriers to working effectively with the unemployed." - AoC Press Release

Did you know that technology can be used for destination trackingFind out more.

Our new Educating the Unemployed Infographic offers a snapshot of the results.

educating the unemployed sml


Like this Infographic? - copy the code below to share it on your website.

<a style="border: none;" title="EDUCATING THE UNEMPLOYED" href="http://www.macleodassociates.com/blog/posts/2013/may/9/infographic-educating-the-unemployed"><img alt="EDUCATING THE UNEMPLOYED" src="http://www.macleodassociates.com/media/87194/educating-the-unemployed.png" /></a><br/>Infographic by <a title="Macleod Associates" href="http://www.macleodassociates.com">Macleod Associates</a>

Tor Macleod 16:20

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