Don't introduce a generic work programme, say providers

To support the economy post-Covid-19, identifying job opportunities and upskilling requirements is key, says AELP

Kate Parker

Covid-19: Don't introduce a generic work programme, urge providers

A cross-departmental and devolved approach must be adopted to deliver a post-coronavirus employment skills recovery package, the Association of Employment and Learning Providers has said. 

The organisation says the solution must start with identifying job opportunities and upskilling requirements, rather than introducing a generic skills or work programme. 

Plans must also be driven by regional requirements and based on live data to identify which opportunities are available to learners.

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AELP suggested that as part of the approach, a four-point process could be adopted by the government: 

  1. Identify
    For an appropriately targeted programme, it is important to identify the skills requirements in each sector for the roles that are being lost; and then, secondly, identify the new opportunities that are or will be available and what those roles’ skills matrix looks like. 
  2. Match
    For some new roles, there might be a direct skills match to those roles made redundant in other sectors and so the requirement will be facilitation from one role to the next. 
  3. Enhance
    For some, they might have the skills required but they need enhancing to meet the needs of the new sector. 
  4. Add
    For some, there will be gaps in their skills in terms of what is needed for the sorts of opportunities that might be available to them and so these skills will need to be added.

AELP chief executive Mark Dawe said that a new sophisticated approach was needed to maximise the economic impact from existing programmes and get as many unemployed people back into work as quickly as possible.

He said: “This means central government departments such as BEIS [Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy], DfE [Department for Education] and DWP [Department for Work and Pensions] working together closely with devolved authorities and education and employment providers in a way that avoids a hit-and-miss approach and which enables targeted support to reach priority sectors and individuals who need support.  

“Cooperation between Whitehall departments during previous downturns has a chequered history and we can’t afford to repeat mistakes in these unprecedented circumstances. The AELP proposed framework has been submitted to the government as a starting point for discussion and we are inviting stakeholders to get involved to move it forward.” 

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Kate Parker

Kate Parker is a FE reporter.

Find me on Twitter @KateeParker

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