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Video: Commission calls for urgent action on skills


Urgent action on skills needs to be taken now by government and UK employers to ensure the same prosperity after the recession as before, a major new study has revealed.

Ambition 2020: World class skills and jobs for the UK, published today by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), challenges government and businesses to redouble their efforts to raise their ambitions and the nation's skills to prevent the UK slipping behind international competitors over the next decade in jobs, productivity and competitiveness.

In the video below business leaders explain the benefits of investing in skills during a recession. Sir Michael Rake, chairman of BT group and the UKCES says: “All the quantative data from the past shows that historically in a downturn, those who haven't invested in skills are those who fail quickly. Those who do invest in skills survive more effectively and come out more strongly out of the downturn.”

The report recommends the government adopt an ambition of being in the top eight countries in the world by 2020, and sets out five key priorities for achieving that aim.
They are:

  • Create a clear and integrated cross-government strategy for economic transformation and renewal.

  • Develop a simpler, more agile and demand-led skills and employment system, capable of anticipating and addressing both existing skills needs and emerging industrial opportunities and challenges.

  • Transform individuals' aspirations, maximising motivation and opportunity for everyone to develop their talents.

  • Build employer ambition and capacity to be world-class, capable of competing globally as high skill, high value added organisations.

  • Support better integration of skills into economic development activity in cities and local economic communities.
  • The report can be downloaded at


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