How can we stay on the road to economic recovery?
Last November the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) offered five key priorities needed to achieve Growth Through People.
Now, UKCES launches it's follow up report - Growth Through People: Evidence and Analysis - presenting a comprehensive overview of the state of the UK labour market and examining in detail the key factors leading to the creation of these five key priorities.
The UK economy is back on the road to recovery, with increased employment and rising growth.
But while opportunities have grown, more needs to be done to help businesses produce the goods and services their customers around the world demand.
Helping businesses acquire and develop skills is central to this. Since the end of the recession there has been a huge rise in high-skilled jobs, but many workers need help to access those jobs.
Regional inequalities in the job market also need to be tackled. Those regions with low growth before the recession have seen that persist, whereas in London, there has been a shift towards higher output and employment, threatening to widen the divide between the capital and the rest of the UK.
Young people in particular need a leg up. We see many businesses that say work experience is important in their recruiting, while fewer offer such opportunities. This has left some young people struggling to progress.
Productivity is the big challenge facing the UK economy. Helping UK businesses improve their productivity is central to increasing wages and living standards for all.
Improving management practices to make sure businesses utilise their employees' skills to the fullest is also important – having employees with under-used skills is leaving money on the table.
The increase in high-skilled jobs has coincided with a squeeze on those in the middle. Though this means opportunity for many, there are challenges in how workers’ careers progress to the highest levels.
Tackling skills gaps within organisations is important as is dealing with skills shortages.
Investment in training is crucial as is doing more to enable workers to follow vocational pathways into work.
The UK is experiencing a high skilled recovery but more must be done to help all parts of the job market benefit.
As the world changes, our workplace practices must also change.
These changes pose great challenges but also offer great opportunities.
By helping workers develop skills and employers access those skills, we can ensure the UK meets those challenges and collects the rewards.
UKCES has set out five priorities for securing Growth Through People.