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National Strategic Skills Audit launched
According to the first National Strategic Skills Audit, commissioned by the government and published by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, the last decade has seen unprecedented increases in the number of people with qualifications.
However, the report warns that if the economic recovery is to continue it is important that future skills development needs are correctly identified and prioritised. If this is not achieved then the country runs the risk of increased skills shortages and under-employment, it says.
The report found:
Chris Humphries CBE, chief executive of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, said: "The National Strategic Skills Audit shows that there have been some substantial changes in the labour market over the past decade. In order to operate in this fast-changing environment we need comprehensive market intelligence, showing us which are the really key priorities for future investment. The National Strategic Skills Audit is the single best source of that, and will help employers, individuals, and education and training providers to make the best informed decisions possible.
He added: "Despite having a more skilled workforce than at any time in our history, we still lag behind many of our major economic competitors. In order to catch up, skills investment needs to connect more to the jobs that need doing now and that will need doing in the future. We need more and better jobs not just to recover from the recession, but to be better than we were before it."
Sir Mike Rake, chair of BT plc and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills added: "Our National Strategic Skills Audit doesn't have all the answers, but it does provide a chart by which to sail. Markets - all markets - operate on information and this Audit provides the richest and most comprehensive information ever produced about skills and jobs in England. We believe that the information it contains will act as a wake-up call to everyone involved in skills and employment policy and practice. Tomorrow's jobs are not the same as today's and we would be failing in our collective responsibility if we didn't look to see what's coming down the line and prepare ourselves to meet it."
The Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM), has welcomed the findings of the National Strategic Skills Audit. Penny de Valk, chief executive of ILM said: "We welcome the recommendations made today by the UKCES on the need for continued investment in leadership and management development. A full recovery from the recession calls for a workforce with the skills to innovate and drive economic performance. UK plc needs leaders and managers who can facilitate this process. Yet at the time when we need them the most, the UK is failing to produce adequate leaders and managers."
She added: "Our global competitors are already investing in developing current and future managers. If the UK is to continue to compete on a global scale, we absolutely agree that leadership and management development must remain a priority for both government and employers."
Launched on 1 April 2008, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills has been asked by the government to report on issues, such as the employability skills employers need for future economic success, how UK employers can use skills to become more globally competitive, and whether further institutional change is required to deliver better integrated employment and skills services.
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