Skills system explained

09 July 2015

A new guide which aims to place skills policy at the top of the parliamentary agenda has been launched. More than 140 policy-makers, educators and parliamentarians gathered at an event in Parliament to launch the Skills Commission’s new ‘Guide to the Skills System’, supported by our UK exam board OCR.

Skills System Report front cover - imageThe guide is designed to demystify the skills system by providing a digestible and accessible overview of skills and further education (FE) policy to MPs. The aim is to place FE and skills centre stage in this new Parliament, allowing MPs to make the best possible policy decisions in a key area.

The Guide has been created by the Skills Commission, an independent group of leading experts and opinion formers from the education and skills sector with 10 years in researching skills and FE to help form crucial policies. The Commission warns that unless policymakers are able to view the skills system holistically, we will not be able to build the system our industries and enterprises need, and that the public deserves.

Charlotte Bosworth, OCR’s Director of Skills and Employment and a recently appointed Skills Commissioner, said: "Over 50% of 16-18 Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Tristram Hunt, at the launch of OCR’s new ‘Guide to the Skills Systemyear-olds in education and training take vocational and technical training programmes. If we are to give the majority of our young people the best chance to succeed in life and play their part in growing our economy, then there needs to be greater clarity around the whole of the FE system and the qualifications, skills, support and guidance it can provide. 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."

Aimed at parliamentarians and their researchers, as well as the wider policy-making community, the Guide contains six key messages for reform in this Parliament to provide better understanding for better policy making:

  1. Ensure stability in the system
  2. Adopt greater systems thinking
  3. Improve the policy process
  4. Enhance quality and confidence
  5. Boost employer engagement 
  6. Ensure fair and sustainable funding

Attendees at the event, hosted in the House of Lords by Baroness Sharp, included Co-chairs of the Parliamentary Skills Commission, Barry Sheerman MP and Dame Ruth Silver, (all pictured top with OCR Chief Executive, Mark Dawe) as well as over 30 parliamentarians. Pictured above right is Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Tristram Hunt, with his copy of the Guide to the Skills System.

You can download the Guide to the Skills System and a one page pull-out guide below.

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