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From ‘inadequate’ to ‘outstanding’: Making the UK’s skills system world class

The analysis, which forms part of the CIPD’s formal response to the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, highlights the failings in the UK’s skills system and offers thoughts and recommendations on how we can improve our performance. One of the purposes of this report is to persuade policymakers to give a higher priority to developing a range of high-quality vocational routes to employment as complementary to a university education. We need both systems to work effectively if we are to meet the huge changes in the content and organisation of work driven by new technologies, deal with increasingly complex organisational structures, and ensure progression in the workplace for as many people as possible. That means looking at how people can acquire and develop skills throughout their working lives, and not just in the early years. Overall, the recommendations focus on making significant progress in a limited number of areas by building on what we have and recognising that meaningful change will be gradual and requires stability and consistency. The thoughts and recommendations are grouped around six themes. Strength and stability in the system Improving basic/core skills Increasing the quality of vocational pathways Building capacity at a local and workplace level Promoting learning across the life course Access to quality information, advice and guidance.