From education to employment

Labour announces Council of Skills Advisors

Labour Leader Keir Starmer

Labour leader promises to get young people ready for work and ready for life, as regional failure on skills makes a mockery of Conservatives’ promise to spread opportunity

Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer has today (22 Nov 21) announced a new campaign to ensure young people leave education ready for work and ready for life, supported by a Council of Skills Advisors to rethink how we deliver an education fit for the 21st century.

Speaking at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) annual conference, Sir Keir Starmer said the Council will: “recommend the change we need to ensure everyone leaves education job ready and life ready, … explore how to ensure that young people are literate in the technology of the day” and “raise the sights of all pupils” giving every young person new ambitions and the belief they will achieve them.

The announcement comes as Labour analysis reveals that children in Kensington and Chelsea are almost twice as likely as children in Hull to achieve essential level 3 qualifications (A-level or BTEC equivalent), with the Party warning that the Conservatives’ failure to deliver the skills and qualifications young people in every region need makes a mockery of the promise to spread opportunity.

Analysis of government data shows huge regional and local inequalities in young people gaining essential qualifications with children in London 31% more likely achieve this mark than children in the North East.

Kate Green MP 100x100

Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:

“Young people are ambitious, optimistic and excited for their futures. Yet far too many are being let down by a Conservative government that’s living in the past.

“Labour has set out plans, from embedding digital and life skills in the curriculum to placing an expert careers advisor in every school, to help set young people on the path that’s right for them.

“I’m looking forward to working with our skills advisors to bring together young people, employers, educators and parents to hear how we can develop these plans to build the education and skills we need for the future.”

Lord David Blunkett

 Lord David Blunkett, Labour Skills Advisor, said:

 “I am very pleased to be able to continue contributing to the critical debate about how we modernise and reform the lifelong learning journey from schools through to progression in work.

 “Nothing can be more important than spreading what works, embedding high-quality and inspirational teaching and learning, and adapting a curriculum that provides motivation to young people at every stage, and reassurance to employers that they will have literate, numerate, creative and responsive employees for the future.”

Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green will be touring the country with Labour’s new Skills Advisors Lord David Blunkett, Rachel Sandby-Thomas and Praful Nargund, engaging with employers, educators, parents and young people to discuss what a skills system that equips young people for the future should look like.

Labour’s new Skills Advisors are:

  • Lord Blunkett
  • Rachel Sandby-Thomas
  • Praful Nargund

Young people in Hull are almost half as likely to achieve a level 3 qualification by age 19 compared to young people in Kensington and Chelsea (40% vs 76%). Level 3 attainment by age 19, by Local Authority (

Young people in London are 31% more like to achieve a level 3 qualification by age 19 compared to young people in the North East (

RegionLevel 3 attainment by age 19 (2019/20) (%)
East Midlands54
East of England57
North East51
North West55
South East59
South West56
Yorkshire and The Humber52
West Midlands54

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