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Skills for the most disadvantaged

In recent years, the clear link between people with low or no qualifications and relative disadvantage in terms of employment and income has been clearly established.

In response, we see our role as being about more than just helping individuals into work. Our role is to enable and empower people to stay in work and to progress within the workforce. We know that an initial job placement is often not enough to ensure economic security and that learning has an important role to play in enabling people, not only to make the most of initial opportunities, but also to progress into better paying roles.

We believe that better integration of the skills and employment agenda sits at the heart of ensuring better quality long-term job outcomes for those people most disadvantaged within the labour market. We advocate the need for better alignment of what is procured in terms of learning and employment with wider policy objectives, particularly those associated with the reduction of poverty. To achieve this, we believe in a more individual approach that facilitates investment that enables people to progress in work.

We believe that funding should follow the learner. Funding sustainable employment, rather than qualifications, will enable people to make better choices about which courses have the greatest chance of moving them toward employment and enabling continued progression within work. It also provides an incentive for training providers to deliver the skills that individuals and employers need.

Through all of our programmes, we work closely with employers to understand their skills needs. We encourage our long-term unemployed clients to undertake appropriate skills training that will meet employer needs. We work with people to retrain or upskill to meet local labour market demands. And we work closely with training providers to meet the skills challenge.

Our role is to enable and empower people to stay in work and to progress within the workforce.”