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Six ways to put the skills system 'centre stage'

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A group of education and skills experts has set out six "key messages" for politicians about reform of the skills system.

The messages, which they hope will provide a better understanding for policymaking, are detailed in the Skills Commission’s new Guide to the Skills System, published today.

The commission says it wants to put FE and skills “centre stage” during this Parliament, claiming that the sector has not had the prominence it deserves. It claims its new document makes the system “digestible and accessible” and will help politicians to make better decisions.

It says it wants them to be guided by six key messages:

  • Ensure stability in the system
  • Adopt greater systems thinking
  • Improve the policy process
  • Enhance quality and confidence
  • Boost employer engagement
  • Ensure fair and sustainable funding

The report is due to be formally launched at a reception hosted by Baroness Sharp of Guildford in the House of Lords today.

Skills Commission co-chair Dame Ruth Silver said the guide – which is supported by qualifications body OCR, the Education and Training Foundation and the 157 Group of colleges – was a “gift” to the new government to help put skills policy at the top of the political agenda.

She said: “Alongside mobilising to address concerns over skills mismatches, productivity and the prospects of those trapped in low-paid work, we must also ensure that we are enabling the FE and skills sector to meet the challenges and opportunities created by an ageing population, technological innovation and a changing labour market.”

Charlotte Bosworth, director of skills and employment for OCR, said: “Young people need stability and security but policy churn and lack of investment is having a detrimental impact on them. This guide is a step in the right direction to help policy makers provide some of that stability.”

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