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Review of employer collective measures: Policy review

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills commissioned this policy review as part of the Collective Measures project, whose purpose is to identify and recommend policy levers which will stimulate employer investment in the skills of the workforce, to contribute to improved national economic performance and raising UK skill levels. The Policy Review is the third of four linked projects which provide the basis for the final Collective Measures report. Projects 1 and 2 provide the theoretical and empirical findings that model and document employer motivations and behaviour with respect to training investment. Project 3 reviews evidence to seek to establish the outcomes and effectiveness of policy options deployed in the UK and elsewhere to influence employer investment in training. Project 4 involved stakeholders subjecting policies proposed in Project 3 to a prioritisation exercise. The Policy Review was undertaken by reviewing the findings of a range of published and unpublished evaluations, reports and wider commentaries concerning the outcomes, strengths and weaknesses of different policy options. The review examined the following policy options in detail: levies, individual rights to training, Investors in People and quality standards, occupational licensing, tax incentives, subsidised training, and inter-employer collaboration methods (including supply chains and public procurement policies). Loan guarantees for training and improved social dialogue between managers and employees were also considered. The policy review identified that there was a shortage of high-quality evaluative literature capable of assessing the impact of policy levers on employer investment in skills. The scope of literature for inclusion in the review was kept broad to ensure that key messages about strengths and weaknesses of different policies were found.