More opportunities needed to help people progress at work

23 January 2014

The latest unemployment figures show a welcome continuing fall, however, NIACE is concerned that high employment will not be enough on its own to help secure a prolonged and lasting economic recovery.

NIACE’s recent seminars – held in partnership with the UKCES – on local labour market intelligence have illustrated emerging challenges across the country which must be overcome to allow people to progress in their careers and ensure greater inward investment into those areas.

Writing for FE News, Tom Stannard, NIACE Director of Communications and Public Affairs, said:

“Any fall in the number of people out of work is certainly good news. However, what’s really needed are good jobs with opportunities for people to progress in throughout their careers. That progression nearly always requires new skills and learning, both formal and informal. Progression is crucial if we are to have a dynamic labour market in which people can aspire to, and reach, new skills levels to both attract inward investment and free-up lower level jobs for new labour market entrants.

“Our concern is that much of the new employment is actually under-employment – in two senses, with graduates ‘trading-down’ to jobs requiring lower level skills, hence pushing out others; and in the sense that many people are not working full-time when they want to and need to.

“Our recent work with UKCES showed the central importance of using local labour market intelligence in an ever changing skills system where LEPS and local partnership working is at the forefront of economic regeneration, economic growth and prosperity for all.”