From education to employment

AELP and ERSA report calls for barriers to be removed between employability and skills services


Hiding the Join“, a new report by the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) and the Employment-Related Services Association (ERSA), has been published today (Tuesday 28 June) – and argues for improving the links between employability and skills services.

The report found that employability provision tends to be funded using consistent and stable procurement processes that explicitly encompass subcontracting, split across a relatively large number of different strands. However, skills provision can be funded using a variety of different procurement processes which tend to discourage subcontracting, operating across a more limited number of different strands.

“Hiding the Join” finds this to be just one example of a lack of joined-up thinking between the two main government departments responsible for employability and skills programmes – the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Department for Education (DfE). This leaves a potential for clashes in policy aims and objectives.

The report calls for barriers to be removed between employability and skills services; a return to a single government department encompassing both skills and employment; and for the creation of an effective all-age careers system. These recommendations form part of 13 suggested actions to ensure employability and skills services are better linked up.

“Hiding the Join” was written by AELP’s Paul Warner and ERSA’s Andrew Morton and the findings will be launched today (Tuesday 28 June) at the AELP National Conference in London.

Paul Warner, AELP Director of Strategy and Business Development said:

“There is a wealth of evidence showing the beneficial effects of linked employability and skills provision. Yet despite this, they are designed, commissioned, procured and funded in different ways. If the government are serious about ensuring our economy has the skills we need, there needs to be a much more joined-up approach on policy making, procurement and delivery processes.”

Andrew Morton, ERSA Labour Market and Policy Research Officer, said:

“Our report sets out 13 recommendations to ensure both the DWP and the DfE can optimise their funding to find and secure work and career progression for individuals all over the country and throughout life. These recommendations suggest actions to “hide the join” between support for those who are looking for work, and the support offered to them to increase their personal skills – both when seeking work and once it has been secured.”

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