Skills policy that works for all

23rd June 2016.

For too long, skills provision has not been effective or efficient enough to ensure that people across the whole skills spectrum receive the support they need to both access employment and progress once in work. Characterised by a centralised approach and lack of flexibility to respond to local needs and circumstance, a mismatch in supply and demand based policies, confused provision landscape and being unable to match the needs of both people and businesses, the skills system has consistently failed to deliver.

This paper builds on The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) knowledge and experience of working in different areas of the country in developing skills and employment related strategies (most recently in Belfast and Barnsley). It outlines where some of the key gaps are in skills provision, and how the current system too often does not work for the individual; before stating what needs to be considered when working to provide solutions.