Stephen Evans

'Let’s prove adult learning boosts the economy'

With a tough spending review on the horizon, former Treasury civil servant Stephen Evans says evidence is the key to unlocking the chancellor’s coffers

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It is no exaggeration to say we face a crisis in living standards and productivity. One in five workers is paid less than the living wage. Productivity – the amount each worker produces and the long-term driver of prosperity – is one-third lower than in France, Germany and the US, and has flatlined over the past 10 years. The Bank of England, in its own understated way, has shown this to be the worst decade for productivity growth since the late 1700s. Real wages haven’t gone up this slowly since the Napoleonic Wars.

There are no silver bullets in public policy. But so wide and varied are the ...

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