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Transforming Higher Education

United Kingdom

The U.K. Commission for Employment and Skills released its first progress report to the U.K. government, Ambition 2020: World Class Skills and Jobs for the UK, Key findings and Implications for Action (2009) .

The Commission reported some areas of improvement but argued that urgent action is needed if the U.K. is to attain its goal of being one of the top countries in the world for skills and productivity by 2020. According to the report, the U.K. has increased the number of skilled people by more than a third and reduced the number of people without qualifications by 25 per cent over the past ten year. When its performance was measured according to the E.U.'s lifelong learning benchmarks, the U.K. was in the top three. However, 2006 data showed one that one in eight working aged adults still did not have any qualifications. The Commission concluded that, without urgent action, the U.K. will not even be in the top eight countries in the world for jobs, skills and productivity.

The Commission set five key priorities for policy development in the four U.K. countries:

  1. Create a clear and integrated strategy for economic transition and renewal.
  2. Support effective economic development in cities and local communities.
  3. Develop more strategic, agile and demand-led skills and employment provision.
  4. Transform individual aspiration and skills into a world class workforce.
  5. Build employer ambition and capacity to be world class.

The Key Findings and Implications for Action summary as well as the full report are available here.


Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)




United States

European Union