In a major speech recently, Boris Johnson spoke about a ‘Lifetime Skills Guarantee’ to help people train and retrain into change jobs, e.g. from a retail worker moving into the wind farm sector, space technology, construction, or low-carbon home retrofitting. The measures include free technical courses for adults, ‘digital skills boot camps’ and adapting student loans for further as well as higher education.
Nesta welcomes the move. However, moving successfully into a completely different line of work is not easy and says more support is needed than just a Lifetime Skills Guarantee. First, there needs to be an open source, more granular tool that allows people to identify the skills they already have, what jobs are growing and which ones are declining, what job transitions would look for them, and other information including flexible working and commuting time. Employees also need to step in and invest in ‘boot-camp training’ to identify skills that would make workers more competitive and link them to real job opportunities.