The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) has welcomed new proposals to measure the tangible outcomes of education and skills for adult learners.
The new measures, revealed yesterday by the department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), are backed by new experimental data and focus on the outcomes achieved by publicly funded education and skills for post-19s - moving beyond the traditional focus on qualifications.
The new proposals will be based instead on three key areas: destinations (into employment or further education), progression within learning, and eventually, the earnings learners go on to achieve.
The measures are intended to provide more accurate, relevant information for students and employers, and to shift the focus of education providers towards giving students the skills they need to get into work and progress, rather than simply deliver qualifications.
Research carried out by UKCES also highlights the value of greater collaboration between employers and further education providers, and the ways in which it can enable both parties to input into relevant skills provision for young people for mutual benefit.
A new collaborative report by UKCES and Universities UK, due to be released next month, will examine in great detail the values and benefits close relationships between employers and universities can bring, and looks to encourage a shift in mind sets to make work-based learning the new cultural norm.
Michael Davis, Chief Executive of UKCES, said:
These proposed revisions are both welcome and needed, and show signs that we are now addressing some of deep rooted issues holding back skills growth in the UK.
Although many qualifications are of a very high quality, these proposals would ensure that we measure the effectiveness of skills provision in terms of the value the system offers to employers and students - enabling employers to get the recruits they want, and students to be given the skills that they need.
In doing this we can ensure the system puts a focus on that which matters most - giving young people the vital skills and experience to get in to work, progress, and become the economic driving force of tomorrow.