Unit for Future Skills

The Unit for Future Skills provides decision makers in the skills system with the information they need to invest in the right skills to meet national and local employer needs and support economic growth.

The Unit for Future Skills (UFS) is an analytical and research unit within the Department for Education. It has been set up to improve the quality of jobs and skills data, working across government to make this available and more accessible to policy makers, stakeholders and the general public.

This data and research aims to support a better understanding of current skill mismatches and future demand throughout the country. It will help our skills system respond effectively to deliver good jobs and higher productivity.

The UFS chair is Professor Sir Ian Diamond, National Statistician.

Jobs and skills data includes links to dashboards and research developed by UFS.


Working closely with analysts and data experts across government departments, together with a wide range of external stakeholders, the unit proactively works to:​

  • improve coverage and timeliness of jobs and skills data to provide a robust foundation of research and data
  • structure and improve access to the data by linking up data sets, mapping educations, and jobs at local levels and providing tolls that enable exploration of the data
  • provide insights to enable learning, thinking and discussion on skills data and research
  • offer a programme of communications and events as a centre of expertise for skills data and future insights on the labour market

UFS builds on the analysis and research of the Skills and Productivity Board.

Priorities for 2023

The unit is developing a longer-term workplan to improve data and identify insights on skills and jobs through existing and new research. Core to this will be continuing to work with other government departments to bring together different datasets and make these widely available, including through application programming interfaces (APIs).

Priorities for 2023 include:

  • an improved careers pathways dashboard, providing more detail on which qualifications support employment within a local area
  • a skills demand dashboard showing what types of jobs are being advertised within a locality
  • conducting research projects on future skills demand forecasting and a UK-specific skills taxonomy
  • gathering feedback from users to help shape the unit’s products and longer-term priorities


If you’re interested in the work of the Unit for Future Skills and would like to get in touch, email ufs.contact@education.gov.uk.