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A New Prescription for UK Workforce Skills

Sep 22, 2017 3 MIN. READ
With the EU referendum comes an opportunity for the UK to rethink workforce development.

Every few years, the UK government publishes a new strategy to boost growth, productivity, innovation, and investment:

  • In 2011, the Plan for Growth aimed “to equip the UK to compete in the global race.”
  • The 2013 Industrial Strategy was a “long-term, whole of government approach to support economic growth.”
  • In 2015, there was a major new Productivity Plan (Fixing the Foundations) to encourage long-term investment and promote “a dynamic economy.”

The narrative changes according to the context— are we battling the headwinds of economic crisis or emerging confidently to secure recovery? — but the diagnosis and policy prescription are often the same. And, understandably, almost always include a priority focus on the skills of the UK workforce. To borrow from the construction analogies that often pepper these strategies: Our human capital is an important building block for growth.

The Return of Industrial Strategy

By Colin Howat