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Working futures 2014-2024

Working Futures 2014-2024 is the latest in a series of quantitative assessments of the employment prospects in the UK labour market over a 10-year horizon. It presents historical trends and future prospects by sector for the UK and its constituent nations and the English regions. The prime focus of Working Futures is on the demand for skills as measured by employment by occupation and qualification, although the supply side is also considered. Its prime objective is to provide useful labour market information that can help to inform policy development and strategy around skills, careers and employment, for both policy makers and a much wider audience. The results are intended to provide a sound statistical foundation for reflection and debate among all those with an interest in the demand for and supply of skills. This includes individuals, employers, education and training providers, as well as the various agencies and departments of government. Sectoral change is one of the key drivers of the changing demand for skills. The main analysis focuses on broad sectors, but this is built up from a much more detailed picture of change by industry. The projections are based on the use of a multi-sectoral, regional macroeconomic model, combined with occupational, replacement demand and qualification modules. The results take account of the latest official data published by the Office for National Statistics. These data are used to paint a comprehensive and detailed picture of the changing face of the UK economy and labour market. A separate Technical Report (Wilson et al. 2016) provides full details of sources and methods used to produce the results, including information about even more detailed sub-national / sub-regional results. The future cannot be predicted with precision or certainty. But all the participants in the labour market make plans for the future. The rationale behind Working Futures is that a comprehensive, systematic, consistent and transparent set of projections can help to inform everyone about the world they are likely to face. It is important to emphasise that the view presented here is not the only possible future. It represents a benchmark for debate and reflection that can be used to inform policy development and other choices and decisions. The detailed projections present a carefully considered view of what the future might look like, assuming that past patterns of behaviour and performance are continued over the longer term. The results should be regarded as indicative of general trends and orders of magnitude and are not intended to be prescriptive. If policies and patterns of behaviour are changed then alternative futures can result.