PDMS responds to Skills Commission Report, ‘England’s Skills Puzzle’

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PDMS welcome the Skills Commission’s call for careers information, advice and guidance to be coordinated and signposted at a local level. The Skills Commission made this call in, ‘England’s Skills Puzzle,’ published this week.

The report argues for fundamental change to a skills system that is ‘not working’ as evidenced by lagging productivity and unfilled vacancies. It calls for further devolution and a system that is more responsive to employer needs.

PDMS concur with all the report’s recommendations but have a particular interest in recommendation six: ‘Learners and employers need a better understanding of career pathways arising from local and national economic trends, especially if we are to improve social mobility. Careers information, advice and guidance should be coordinated and signposted at the local level, based on local skills needs analysis and developed through the local collaboration model.’

The report rightly identifies this as key to reforming the skills system because ‘the poor quality of information, advice and guidance is limiting the prospects of individuals and distorting the alignment of provision to labour market demand.’ A LEP that contributed to the report said their findings from a local authority learner survey of 600 secondary school students revealed that 80% of them had little idea of career opportunities in their area.

This is why we have invested so heavily in our SignedUp Skills solution. SignedUp Skills enables local economies to present a coherent and coordinated picture of the local employment and skills environment to people and employers. It allows these economies to localise national data and put employment and skills services and career opportunities within the local context. We believe this approach will result in ‘more informed individuals in a changing labour market’.

You can access the report here.