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Missing millions: Considering the untapped potential of millions of working age people in the UK

This research considers the likely demand for skills over the next seven years, the current skill levels of people living in the UK and highlights the underutilisation of millions of working age Britons. We worked with economic modellers Emsi to consider the size of the UK jobs market and the rate at which it is forecast to grow between now and 2027, with a spotlight specifically on Mayoral Authority areas. We have looked at these areas as they have a devolved adult education budget and are, therefore, able to make their own decisions about how and where they spend money on skills development and resolve issues that are uncovered. In these areas we have considered the number of high skilled jobs6 that are needed and how this is likely to change over the coming years. We also polled 5,000 working age people to understand the types of formal education and workplace training they have received, if they believe that the skills they have attained have been useful and give an understanding of how people’s experiences of training and job opportunity vary across the country. 6 High skilled jobs = These are defined as Levels 1-3 occupations on the Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) i.e. Managers, Directors and Senior Officials; Professional Occupations; and Associate Professional and Technical Occupations. Missing Millions What we have discovered through this research has been fascinating and highlights the huge challenges we have ahead if we are to unleash the talent of millions of working age people in the UK today. We found that there is a huge opportunity to harness the potential of the underemployed people in society – particularly people from lower socio-economic groups, older workers (those aged 55+), people living outside of London and the South East and part time workers to help us meet the challenges and opportunities that AI and the fourth industrial revolution will bring and ensure the UK remains a global leader in the future.