Following yesterday’s announcement by Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson at the Conservative Party conference, on the creation of a new Skills and Productivity Board, Chris Jones, CEO of City & Guilds Group welcomes this decision but urges that actions will speak louder than words.
The newly announced Skills and Productivity Board, which is to be made up of industrialists and labour market economists and guided by evidence to provide strategic advice on the skills and qualifications needed, aligns closely with City & Guilds Group their longstanding recommendation to create and independent skills policy institute, last reiterated in their Sense & Instability research report in May this year.
In Sense & Instability, City & Guilds Group called for a body to oversee the development and implementation of skills and education policy in the UK to help ensure skills policy is properly measured, evaluated and so that more accurate spending decisions are made as a result.
Chris Jones, CEO, City & Guilds Group, said:
“Four months on from the publication of our Sense & Instability research, it is heartening to see one of its key recommendations being picked up by Government this week.
“We welcome the announcement by Gavin Williamson of the creation of a new Skills and Productivity Board. As we outlined in Sense & Instability, skills policy is often developed in a vacuum without proper success measures in place. There is often no clear evidence base behind any new skills policy to underline its need and purpose. We have long called for a new independent body to oversee skills policy in the UK. It would therefore be a hugely positive step forward if this new Board is able to play this role, and ensure skills policy is properly measured and evaluated so that more accurate spending decisions are made as a result.
However, as ever, the proof will be in the pudding. While any fresh commitment to FE and technical education is welcomed, actions speak louder than words. Gavin Williamson said yesterday that he wants to ‘turbo charge’ FE. To do so, we need the right infrastructure in place to support long-term thinking and the development of effective skills and education policy.”
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