Adopting global skills innovation for the UK
This report is the culmination of a seven-month research project led by the RSA in partnership with WorldSkills UK and supported by FETL. It has investigated inspiring examples of global innovation in TVET and skills, with the aim of drawing out lessons for UK policymakers and practitioners, including the FE sector, as they work to confront the major skills, productivity and social inclusion challenges facing Britain. Working with WorldSkills UK has allowed us to examine a relatively under-explored but highly promising platform for skills innovation: skills competitions.
In a major review of skills at the middle of the decade, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) described technical and vocational education and training (TVET) as a ‘hidden world’ in many countries, including the UK. The implication was that TVET, including adult skills and lifelong learning, provides considerable social and economic value, but sometimes doesn’t get the visibility and investment it deserves.
This is beginning to shift across the UK, even if system-wide change and capacity-building hasn’t fully caught up with ambition. Places across the UK are thinking creatively about how best to use the resources at their disposal to create more inclusive and productive economies. In England, some of them are using the opportunity presented by the devolution of the adult education budget (AEB) to strive for more coordinated skills ecosystems linked to local industrial strategies.