Document Abstract

Time for action: skills for economic growth and social justice

Discusses the need for an improved learning and skills base in the UK in order to drive economic growth and promote social justice. Highlights links between skills and productivity, employment and social justice (inequality, social mobility, inclusive communities). Compares levels of learning and skills in the UK with levels in other OECD countries and makes projections regarding skills bases and qualifications. Notes that the UK’s skills base lags behind that of comparator countries, and the rate of improvement has stalled as a result of funding cuts and falling employer investment in skills. Explains that although the UK’s qualification profile is projected to improve, this would still fail to match rates of improvement in other countries. Suggests that for literacy, by 2030, England could increase the proportion of adults with at least Level 2 proficiency from 83% to 85%, but still fall from 10th to 14th out of the 17 countries. Analyses the potential impact of: increasing the proportion of people with functional literacy and numeracy to 90% by 2030; increasing the proportion of people with medium qualifications with a greater focus on Level 3 qualifications; and maintaining the expected rate of progress in high qualifications, so that by 2030 43% of people have Level 4 qualifications or higher. Argues that achieving this scenario would boost the UK economy by £20bn per year and support an additional 200,000 people into work.


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Evans, Stephen; Egglestone, Corin
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Learning and Work Institute

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