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Skills in Focus January 2013

23 January 2013

  • Skills in Focus events

The fourth Skills in Focus event took place in Atlantic Quay, Glasgow, on Friday 18 January 2013, hosted by Paul McKelvie OBE, Chair of the Joint Skills Committee. The Skills in Focus series is intended to stimulate informed debate around current and future skills issues.

The event featured a presentation on Low Wage Workers from Dr Paul Sissons. Paul is a Senior Researcher at The Work Foundation, a research centre of Lancaster University. Paul's research interests and experience are particularly around local and regional labour markets, labour market disadvantage, welfare reform and skills policies.

The event attracted senior representatives from across the skills landscape. The organisations represented included Scotland's Colleges, the Scottish Funding Council, the Scottish Government, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Trades Union Congress, Jobcentre Plus, the NHS, Universities Scotland, the Scottish Qualifications Authority, Support Training Action Group, the Scottish Training Federation, the Improvement Service and Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations. There was also representation from individual Scottish businesses, 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 presenter gave an expert briefing on low wage workers. He set out the need to agree on what we mean by low waged work, provided insight into why the problem is persistent for many people in Scotland and the UK as a whole, and brought to our attention examples of how we might confront the challenge.