Creating a vision for FE and skills in England: How can we build a skills system that responds to local needs and future challenges?

Policy Connect, the Skills Commission and Learning and Work Institute are launching a collaborative inquiry into the Further Education and skills system in England. The inquiry, grant funded by the Further Education Trust for Leadership, aims to create a vision for the skills system by looking at what structures we need to respond to local needs and how to futureproof this.

The project was scoped on the basis that the FE and skills system has seen significant policy reform over recent decades, but we need to know what needs to improve for the development of an overarching vision which will join everything together in a coherent way. This inquiry draws inspiration from Skills Commission’s Guide to the Skills System and the lack of joined-up systems thinking in policy change over the past decades in the FE and skills sector.

Receiving relatively less attention and funding than other parts of the education system, skills has suffered from a lack of joined-up policymaking with initiatives often designed and implemented without taking into consideration how they fit into the wider ecosystem.

Therefore, this inquiry will explore what a skills system, which is responsive to local needs and future challenges such as the local Industrial Strategies and the devolution agenda, could look like and how it can be developed.

It will investigate the FE provider base and local employer needs, and the implementation of national policy at a local level. The research work with policy makers and local stakeholders to develop a blueprint for how the ongoing skills and education reforms can be coordinated into a much-needed overarching vision.

The project is generously supported by the Further Education Trust for Leadership and has engaged a high-calibre steering group from across the sector.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to engage or partner with us. For further information or any queries about the project, please contact Maja Gustafsson or Dr Fiona Aldridge. The call for evidence will be released on 12th March, and will be accessible here.

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    Future of the Skills System Inquiry Launch