Careers, productivity and growth: Ten Policies for Ten People

22nd April 2015

NIACE and Inclusion are proposing ten practical policies which the next Government can and should implement in its first 100 days. Every policy will improve the lives of ten groups of people who are often excluded and disadvantaged in life and work.

In Ten Policies for Ten People, NIACE and Inclusion detail how these policies will deliver more inclusive and sustainable growth by unlocking the talents of everyone in our society. The ten policies can be implemented quickly and without additional spending, but will begin to address the productivity crisis and the need for higher quality work for many people.

The Ten Policies for Ten People are:

  1. Helping low-paid workers progress and earn more money: establish a new Career Advancement Service.
  2. Better support for disabled people and those with health conditions: introduce a new Employment Support Programme.
  3. Putting people in charge of their own learning and careers support: set-up Personal Career Accounts for adults.
  4. Making migration work: introduce new rights and responsibilities to learn English.
  5. Ensuring everyone has the skills they need: create a Citizens’ Curriculum programme.
  6. High quality Apprenticeships: launch an Apprentice Charter quality mark.
  7. Learning and earning routes for young people: establish a new Youth Allowance.
  8. Unlocking the talents of our Young Adult Carers: instigate fairer support to allow Young Adult Carers to access learning and training opportunities.
  9. Helping older people gain digital skills for the 21st century: recognise digital skills as the third basic skill alongside maths and English.
  10. Work and career support for the long-term unemployed: introduce a better Work Programme.

David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:

“The next Government has a great opportunity in its first 100 days to signal its commitment to a new skills-led and inclusive economy. As we emerge from one of the longest recessions the world has ever faced, we must improve productivity, and we must support adults to have the skills to enter the labour market and stay up to date throughout their careers. Employers are already facing skills gaps and shortages whilst millions of people are stuck in low-paid work or not able to find full-time jobs. Our ageing population, alongside rapid technological change, means every one of us needs to find ways to continuously update and improve our skills.

“Unfortunately, our current education focus is almost exclusively on young people and their transition to work, at the expense of supporting people in work. Opportunities for people to learn once they reach their 20s have collapsed, with over a million opportunities lost from Government-funded learning and reductions in employer investment in training over the last 5 years. This ‘perfect storm’ is damaging the prospects for a sustained and vibrant economic recovery and limiting the prospects and opportunities for millions of people who want to have fulfilling and rewarding lives and careers.

“We are challenging the next Government to show its colours. Our ten policies are simple and practical proposals which can be implemented in the first 100 days. They will make a difference for those people who often miss out and they will improve our economic growth prospects. We have designed these policies with ten groups of people in mind, because all too often the people come last in consideration of policies. Our proposals are not the complete answer, but they show that it is possible to make a real difference to people’s lives quickly and without additional public expenditure. There is a strong consensus across political, business and community interests that our skills system has to change. We believe these policies can start a process to deliver that change.”

The Ten Policies will help:

  • All workers to get the skills they need for life and work.
  • 5.2 million low-paid workers, those who earn less than two thirds of median hourly pay, to progress in their careers.
  • 2.51 million disabled people and those with health conditions, who claim ESA and incapacity benefits, to secure employment and training.
  • 850,000 migrants with insufficient English language skills to fully participate in our society and economy.
  • 1.86 million unemployed people to secure sustained employment.
  • 638,000 long-term unemployed people to find and keep work.
  • 2.3 million Apprentices, to gain expansive, high quality training.
  • 1.73 million young people (16-24) not in education, employment or training (NEETs) to secure meaningful employment.
  • 310,000 Young Adult Carers to fulfil their potential.
  • 4.78 million older people who lack the digital skills to access the services they need.