Trends in job-related training for building future skills

The trends outlined in this paper and the broader evidence suggest that new or enhanced policies to increase the quantity and quality of job-related training in the UK are required, particularly for younger workers or those with lower levels of educational attainment. Increased support for adult education and training announced since the onset of [Coronavirus Disease 2019] COVID-19, including the National Skills Fund, and short-term incentives for apprentices are welcome.

The evidence suggests that further action across the following four areas could be effective in terms of increasing employer provision of job-related training: (1) human capital tax credits: these can help incentivise businesses to invest in training their workforce; such a mechanism could be piloted in specific areas where displacement has been particularly acute, or where significant change is anticipated in the future (e.g. greening the car industry); (2) a more broadly defined Apprenticeship Levy: reforms could be considered to more effectively target younger workers and to broaden training investments covered by the scheme; (3) further devolution of skills policy: increased devolution of apprenticeship and training policy should be considered where local knowledge of skills gaps and opportunities can increase its effectiveness; and (4) job creation and retraining schemes: embedding re-skilling or up-skilling in new programmes of job creation, including those associated with net-zero-aligned investments, with stronger incentives for businesses and support for individuals.

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