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This mismatch is damaging to those seeking to grow their talent and find enjoyable and sustainable employment, but is also a significant macro barrier to industrial and entrepreneurial success, economic prosperity and Britain’s competitive advantage.
We seek to explore the long-term and sustainable opportunities that will not only increase living standards and see wages and salaries rise, but will also enable each individual to truly develop their wider skills, focus their talent and deepen their character. To widen our economic offer and not crowd the market place with people who all offer the same thing, we need a careers pathway which enables people to develop their vocational and artistic skills through institutions that move beyond just serving the already successful.
We argue the business case for through-life training, starting with early years programmes and support for disadvantaged households through to higher education and on-the-job training and mentoring. As businesses also benefit from hiring well-rounded, innovative people, it is our belief that both learning institutions and professional development programmes should focus on the creation of soft skills, character and resilience, and encourage the recognition of wider skill sets through focusing on vocational and artistic ability as well as academic excellence. This approach, grounded in accountability and common ownership, ensures that employers find skilled and adaptable employees, while workers can find fitting and properly remunerated labour. By tying employment and education firmly together we can help people escape stagnation, powerlessness and the sense of being trapped in unrewarding work or indeed worklessness, whilst ensuring British business is well supplied with a broad spectrum of skilled labour.