In 2011, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills launched employer ownership of skills, a long term vision to change the way that we invest in skills. The vision challenges employers, government, trade unions and training providers to combine money to invest in the skills and talent they need for growth. This approach has aligned skills investment with industry requirements and local economic need. A number of employer-led projects have sprung up over the past two years, focusing on creating more career opportunities for young people amongst other things. By bringing together major UK employers and parliamentarians, the Youth Skills Commission will focus on best practice and evidence of these projects so far in order to contribute to the debate about employer approaches moving forward.
The Commission will consist of five briefing sessions and three dinners over the next six months. A report will be published following the events, outlining the findings of the Commission and adding to the debate on this important issue.
The opening dinner focused on how employers and unions can work together to provide greater opportunities for young people. Among the issues discussed was how employers can enhance their skill set to harness the potential of young people. Key challenges around careers guidance, the structure and funding of apprenticeships and work experience were raised and will be discussed in detail at the future sessions.
Frances O’Grady, General Secretary, Trades Union Congress (TUC), commented:
I feel really passionately that we need a new grand alliance of business, unions and politicians to really make a difference to not just the skills but the life chances of working people in this country.
We need a bit of passion into sorting out these problems in the labour market and build on that consensus that I believe is there with good businesses, unions and civic societies and politicians, saying “we want to build a good, successful but fair and strong economy for the future.
You can listen to a recording of the event on SoundCloud.