Labour announces Council of Skills Advisors
23 Nov 2021 12:54 PM
Labour leader promises to get young people ready for work and ready for life with new campaign - techUK has long called for a renewed focus on job-readiness.
Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer has announced a new campaign to ensure young people leave education ready for work and ready for life, supported by a Council of Skills Advisors to rethink how we deliver an education fit for the 21st century.
Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green will be touring the country with Labour’s new Skills Advisors Lord David Blunkett, Rachel Sandby-Thomas, and Praful Nargund, engaging with employers, educators, parents and young people to discuss what a skills system that equips young people for the future should look like.
Speaking at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) annual conference, Starmer said the Council will: “recommend the change we need to ensure everyone leaves education job ready and life ready, … explore how to ensure that young people are literate in the technology of the day” and “raise the sights of all pupils” giving every young person new ambitions and the belief they will achieve them.
The announcement comes as Labour analysis reveals that children in Kensington and Chelsea are almost twice as likely as children in Hull to achieve essential level 3 qualifications (A-level or BTEC equivalent). Analysis of government data shows regional and local inequalities in young people gaining essential qualifications with children in London 31% more likely achieve this mark than children in the North East.
techUK agrees with the mission to embed digital and life skills in the curriculum to ensure every student in every region is offered the opportunities digital brings.
While both government and businesses across the UK are working together to improve careers advice in schools so that young people are aware of the high-quality options available for both technical and academic routes into digital careers, there is clearly more we can and should do provide access to information about the variety of careers that digital technology pathways have to offer. This should be signposted to people of all ages and all skill levels. techUK is a part of the consortium developing the UK Cyber Security Council which will look to develop clearer career pathways and support the profession. Instigated by government but delivered by a coalition of industry partners, this is a good example of progress that can be made together.
Additionally, education and learning providers should work more closely with employers to understand and deliver programmes that develop the skill-sets that employers need. Industry-led accreditation focused on job-readiness would act as a positive signpost to build employer and learner confidence in a market with more diverse provision.
techUK recommended in it's skills report that while government focuses on addressing the discrepancy between Further Education and Higher Education, it should also look beyond traditional routes to consider new approaches to learning that are fit for purpose for the 21st century. It is welcome that this is considered a priority for parliamentarians.