New Independent Advisory Group report on skills challenges and post-16 education reform

FE News reports that a major new report, published today (31 Oct) by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) and Pearson, urges the Government to put the future economy first, as it reforms the schools and post-16 education landscape. 

Educating for our Economic Future is the second report by an Independent Advisory Group consisting of prominent business and education leaders and chaired by leading academic Professor Sir Roy Anderson. It follows the influential 2014 report Making Education Work­, which saw many of its recommendations adopted by the Government.

With growing uncertainty around the country’s supply of skilled workers following the EU referendum, and with economic challenges such as low productivity, stagnating wages, and intergenerational inequality, the UK is at a critical juncture in terms of meeting its future labour market needs.

The report finds that the current economic climate presents a number of serious skills challenges:

Following the EU referendum, the future supply of skilled workers is less certain now than ever. This adds to several economic challenges facing the UK, such as stagnating productivity and wages, and considerable demographic pressures.

Without substantial increases in productivity, wages and housing supply, this creates serious risks to social mobility for the young.  

In this climate, jobs requiring intermediate, technical skills appear the most vulnerable to shortages. This presents opportunities for those able to adjust their career paths and take advantage of high-skill jobs – yet it also risks leaving many trapped in low-level jobs.  

Professor Sir Roy Anderson, Chair of the Independent Advisory Group, commented:

“With the UK’s decision to leave the EU, longstanding economic pressures, and disruptive technologies set to change the composition of the labour market, young people today are faced with unprecedented challenges navigating the complex path from education into the workplace. It is imperative the Government rises to the challenge of equipping young people with the knowledge and skills they need for the future – such as core literacy and numeracy, digital capabilities, financial literacy, and a wider set of employability skills.”

Read more plans and key findings and challenges New Independent Advisory Group report on skills challenges and post-16 education reform

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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