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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Skills 2030 – Building an adult skills system that works

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), in partnership with J.P. Morgan, is delighted hold an event on the future of the adult skills system.

This took place on Thursday 9th February, from 10:00 – 12:30, in Manchester.

Speakers included:

  • Cllr Sean Anstee, Leader of Trafford Council
  • Lucy Powell MP, MP for Manchester Central
  • Clare McNeil, Associate Director for Work and Families, IPPR

There are significant and long-standing problems with the adult skills system in England. A large number of workers have low-levels of skills, yet the learners who need it most are least likely to participate in learning. This not only holds them back in terms of both pay and progression; it also holds our economy back too, contributing to low-levels of productivity. The amount of employer-provided training has halved in the last two decades, and public spending on adult skills has also significantly reduced in recent years.

A well-functioning skills system is a prerequisite if the UK economy is to prosper over the next fifteen years. The Government is seeking to boost employer-funded training through the Apprenticeship Levy. But there remain significant concerns over whether our current market-based skills system is fit for purpose, and fit for the future.

Key questions to consider:

  • How effectively is the adult skills system working for learners, for employers, and for the economy?
  • How will the Government’s reforms – including the Apprenticeship Levy – affect the quality and quantity of employer-funded training?
  • How does the adult skills system need to adapt to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future?

This event was part of New Skills at Work, an ongoing, global, multiyear programme of work that aims to address skills and employment issues, announced by J. P. Morgan in 2013.

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