Press release

Sir Charlie Mayfield tells parliament: we need a cross-party plan for skills

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chair of the UK Commission on Employment and Skills (UKCES) and Chair of the John Lewis Partnership will today deliver a landmark report on the UK’s skills system to parliamentarians and leading business figures.

The Growth Through People report is a 5-point manifesto for fixing the country’s skills crisis drawn up with the CBI and the TUC. Recommendations include completely rethinking the way we train workers to put employers and trade unions in charge and transforming the way schools and colleges prepare young people for the world of work. The briefing from Sir Charlie will be a chance to kick-start a cross-party debate about how to put this into action.

Sir Charlie will be joined by leading figures from the three major parties who will debate how to make this happen: Lord Baker of Dorking (former Conservative Education Secretary), Liam Byrne MP (Shadow Minister for Universities, Science & Skills) and Lord Wrigglesworth (Treasurer of the Liberal Democrats).

The event has been convened by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Inclusive Growth, a cross-party group of leading parliamentarians working across the political divide to identify ways of ensuring the UK’s success is more fairly shared. This will be the group’s final event before the election.

Over the past year the APPG has already embarked on a series of prominent activities that have featured His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Heseltine, Lord Adonis and most recently Angel Gurría, the Secretary General of the OECD.

Speaking ahead of Sir Charlie Mayfield’s address Liam Byrne said:

This could not be a better time to hear from Sir Charlie’s on how we can come together to fix Britain’s skills gaps. In a competitive global economy unless we growth smarter as a country we will grow poorer. That requires businesses, trade unions and politicians to debate a shared action plan. It’s welcome that we’re kicking off the debate in parliament tonight.

Sir Charlie Mayfield said:

Old career paths are either vanishing or becoming much harder to navigate. Encouragingly, new paths are emerging, but they are far from achieving the scale and accessibility that’s needed to make a difference to enough people and to the economy at large. To address this, we need to see a new level of leadership from employers on skills – with government giving them the space and encouragement to do it. Effective leadership and strong collaboration over the long term is absolutely vital to this – that’s why I’m pleased to be speaking at the Inclusive Growth APPG event this evening. I hope we can build on the really strong and broad consensus I have already seen emerge around how to achieve economic growth that is sustained and fair – growth through people.