NIACE sets out priorities to tackle Skills Commission’s ‘strategic alerts’

23 September 2014

NIACE has responded to the interim findings of the Skills Commission’s latest inquiry into Skills & the Changing Structures of Work which has identified four key ‘strategic alerts’ that the Commission believes ‘require urgent attention from all players in the skills system’.

David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:

“We are pleased to see that the Skills Commission agrees with us that the current skills system is not fit for purpose. Our priority actions for the next Government have been laid out in our Manifesto. These include our call for a new UK Government department responsible for education, skills and work. We believe this new single department of state should negotiate outcome agreements with local partners for skills, jobs and inclusion to give new freedoms to further and higher education, and Work Programme providers to support people to get the skills and learning they need to be successful in the labour market and life.

“This new localism, where combined authorities will work with reformed Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and local employers can inject energy into economic and skills strategies which will support local labour market needs and local communities. In all of this we want people to have more say over their own learning and development, taking responsibility and having the information and support to make decisions about their lives and work.

“It’s critical that we break down the ‘significant barriers’ that the Skills Commission has highlighted and ensure we have a skills system that addresses current and future skills shortages and skills gaps, leading to a sustained and vibrant economic recovery and delivers prosperity for all.”

The four strategic alerts the Skills Commission has highlighted are:

  1. Uncertainty around the responsibility for training in an increasingly flexible labour market.
  2. Declining social mobility owing to a reduction in the alignment of skills provision to work.
  3. Fragmentation in the system making it difficult for employers to engage.
  4. Alarming policy dissonance between different central Government departments.