• HEPI number Occasional Paper 11

England and Wales lag behind competitor nations in the proportion of people with higher technical skills. In this pamphlet, Scott Kelly proposes three overarching reforms to ensure employers have access to the skills they need.

  1. There should be a well-defined set of institutions where the core mission is to deliver technical and professional qualifications.
  2. Work-oriented qualifications at higher levels should be validated and funded by the same processes.
  3. Public policy should acknowledge and address the barriers to employer engagement.

Public spending on further education, skills and vocational training is under threat but the proposals outlined here would strengthen the sector to the benefit of employers, the economy and, most importantly, learners.