Call for evidence: Workforce of the Future inquiry

The Skills Commission is inviting submissions to a public call for evidence as part of its ongoing inquiry, the Workforce of the Future

Careers information, advice and guidance and how it can support transitions into sustainable employment has always been a challenging policy issue, interconnected with social justice issues and skills gaps in the labour market. However, the current crisis offers an opportunity to rethink our approach. Young people and marginalised groups are being hit hardest by the economic consequences of the pandemic, as the sectors of the economy that often recruit school and college leavers – i.e. construction, hospitality and retail – contract, and they compete with more experienced and skilled job seekers. This situation creates a new and urgent imperative for government, the FE and HE sectors, local partners and employers to intervene to support transitions into employment.

We would like to invite submissions from college and higher education provider leadership, careers services staff, independent careers professionals, local government, third sector organisations, businesses, sector/industry representative organisations, and any others who believe their experiences or perspective to be relevant. Your submissions will inform the recommendations we make to the government, providers of careers advice and guidance, and businesses, to ensure that young people and adults are well supported to have the best possible chance of transitioning into work.

This inquiry is chaired by Lord Jim Knight, Nicola Richards MP, and Dr Siobhan Neary.

“For too long our system has been far too invested in promoting university as the sole route to success. To help young people navigate the labour market challenges ahead, they need to be fully informed of the breadth of education and training pathways open to them, and the ones that will give them the best prospects for building their careers.

We must also recognise widening health inequalities and the mental health issues that young people increasingly face. To ensure that those in vulnerable categories are not doubly disadvantaged, we need to think about providing more holistic support to individuals as part of targeted career transition interventions.” 

Nicola Richards MP

“Good careers guidance brings proven benefits to individuals, employers and the labour market. What’s needed is an inclusive strategy that underpins the range of services currently available. This must also include sufficient investment in reaching marginalised groups to ensure that they are not further excluded from employment or career progression.” 

Dr Siobhan Neary

“Careers guidance has been neglected by successive governments and as a former Minister of State for Employment and Welfare Reform, and for Schools, I saw first-hand the consequences of not getting this right.

As the dynamics of the current employment market shift – rising unemployment, self-employment, automation and the 100 year life – we need now, more than ever, to seriously address the crisis in our adult skills system. This needs to work as a through life system and must be married with a high quality guidance system plugged into labour market insight and intelligence.” 

Lord Jim Knight of Weymouth

The Skills Commission is an independent body comprising leading figures from across the education sector, which meets to discuss important issues in skills, training and further education policy. Commission members include parliamentarians from all the main parties, and highly experienced practitioners from across the skills sector. More information on past research can be found on our website.

The deadline for submission of evidence is 5pm on Friday 18th December. Evidence can be submitted to Megan Hector at megan.hector [at] (megan[dot]hector[at]policyconnect[dot]org[dot]uk). If you need access to a Word document version of the document, please email Megan. For more information about the Commission, please visit the Policy Connect website or contact Megan.


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