Developing Skills and Talent: Social Mobility and Post-16 Education

Last week, Policy Connect and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Skills, Careers and Employment partnered with the Social Mobility Commission for a panel discussion on the role that skills formation has at all stages of life to improve social mobility.

Chaired by Baroness Garden of Frognal, the parliamentary session explored how we can close the gap between graduate and non-graduate outcomes for young people entering the job market and how changes to employer recruitment policies and processes could help address the current skills shortage.

Joined by parliamentarians, industry leaders, and sector stakeholders, guests discussed the importance of work that examines the role of Further Education and skills formation in improving social mobility.

Panellists examined the challenges arising from a fragmented careers system that fails to acknowledge diverse educational pathways and alienates non-university bound students by overemphasising the importance of higher education qualifications.

There was discussion about what skills employers value, where and how they are developed, and recognition that whilst core English and Maths skills are essential, ‘life skills’ also play a crucial role in young people fulfilling their potential.

Participants also considered the importance of addressing inequalities in the school experiences of young people, and the role of employers and professional bodies in removing barriers from recruitment processes.

The session featured excellent contributions from:

  • Parminder Kohli – Commissioner, Social Mobility Commission.
  • Lucy McLeod – Deputy Chief Executive Officer, East Kent Colleges Group.
  • Professor Sharon Gewirtz – Professor of Education, King’s College London.
  • Joe Fitzsimmons – Senior Manager, Policy and Insights – EEMA & UK, ACCA.

For more information about the work of the APPG for Skills, Careers, and Employment, please contact peter.wilson [at] (peter[dot]wilson[at]policyconnect[dot]org[dot]uk) or alyson.hwang [at] (alyson[dot]hwang[at]policyconnect[dot]org[dot]uk).