Over the past two years, the Future-Ready Skills Commission has conducted an in-depth examination of the UK skills system, from post-16 education through to adult skills and career development, drawing upon national and international examples of best practice to design a skills system for the 21st century.

Building on the findings of the Interim Report, which identified 10 things that need to change, the Future-Ready Skills Commission has issued its final report, A Blueprint for a Future-Ready Skills System.

The report makes nine key recommendations that together are designed to create a devolved skills system focused on people, businesses and local economies. It will mean employers can recruit the talent they need, individuals can better access opportunities that will lead to more resilient, flexible and dynamic local labour markets that work for all, while contributing to the national recovery and the leveling-up agenda.

Technical papers for each of the nine key recommendations have been released alongside the report, which can be viewed on the Key Documents page.

Its recommendations are:

  • Ensure the funding system offers fair access regardless of age, level of attainment, background and learning route alongside reversing the long-term decline in adult training
  • Empower areas to design services around the individual to address complex and interrelated health, employment and skills issues
  • Everyone should have the right to quality information about jobs and careers, no matter what their stage in life
  • Employers should take greater ownership of their talent management and skills development, aided by a joined-up approach to business support that means they can find the help they need, regardless of the route they take to find it
  • In order that people can gain the right skills needed for good quality work in their area, all adult skills and careers funding needs to be devolved
  • Recognise that areas are best placed to understand their own skills requirements and implement statutory five-year strategic skills plans to make it happen
  • Ensure that training meets the current and future skills needs of regional labour markets, delivery agreements with skills providers should be put in place, supported by investment funding
  • Large-scale public infrastructure projects designed to level up areas should include an additional skills premium of up to 5% of the total budget to maximise their economic potential
  • The Apprenticeship system needs national review to make it work more effectively, and this should include recognising and resourcing areas as the key route to employers and individuals