Learning to level up

This latest report from UK think tank the Work Foundation looks at the role of skills in tackling job insecurity through Brexit and Covid-19.

Covid-19 has resulted in job losses, reduced hours and heightened insecurity for many workers across the labour market. Against this backdrop and the imminent end to freedom of movement as the UK leaves the EU, the types of jobs available to workers, and the skills in demand by employers, are shifting. Recognising how crucial opportunities for training to develop skills will be in this context, Government recently set out plans to introduce a Lifetime Skills Guarantee. This will provide free intermediate and higher level training courses to individuals in England who do not hold a qualification at or above level 3 (A-Level equivalent). While this will broaden access to training for many workers, significant barriers to take up remain. In partnership with Totaljobs, this report presents new analysis on barriers to engaging in training among people at the middle of their working lives (between the ages of 25-49). Too often, workers who would benefit most from opportunities to develop new skills face the greatest barriers to taking part in training. For some, balancing work, caring responsibilities and financial commitments proves impossible. For others, a perception that training won’t lead to opportunities for progression can be off-putting. Drawing on this analysis, the paper sets out practical steps employers and policymakers could take to address these barriers.

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