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Skills in Focus Event, 16 December 2011

16 December 2011

  • Skills in Focus events

The event attracted senior representatives from across the skills landscape.  The organisations represented included AGCAS, the Alliance of Sector Skills Councils, Chambers of Commerce, the Improvement Service, Scotland's Colleges, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Qualifications Authority, Scottish Funding Council, the Scottish Government, the Scottish Training Federation, Skills Development Scotland, Universities Scotland and the UKCES. There was also representation from individual Scottish colleges, universities and local authorities.  The diverse nature of the audience demonstrated the importance of the topic and contributed to a wide-ranging debate.

The presenters gave expert briefings on:

  • Labour under-utilization in the recession
  • Active labour market programmes

In the first paper, Professor Felstead concluded that unemployment statistics mask the true impact of the recession and that part-time and short time working (labour under-utilisation) are also issues. This has been on the rise and affects some groups, such as young people, more than others.

In the second paper, Andy Hirst concluded that active labour market programmes can help individuals into work if they are personalised, flexible, adequately funded and do not rely exclusively on a 'work first' solution.