Neil to Chair Independent Review into the Future of Skills

Pearson announces independent review into the future of skills –

Former Select Committee Chair Neil Carmichael to lead inquiry with leading education provide

Pearson, the digital education company, has announced a new, independent group to examine the UK’s future skills needs and landscape. The Commission on Sustainable Learning for Life, Work & a Changing Economy will be chaired by former head of the Education Select Committee, Neil Carmichael.

The expert group is designed to provide a clear and independent overview of the challenges facing education in the UK – with an emphasis on vocational and technical education – and generatepractical solutions.

The Commission will seek to engage the widest possible audience – including educators, learners and employers – to look at the factors driving our skills needs well into this century, how our current education system is or is not equipped to deliver them, and the innovations, changes and challenges that may be faced along the way.

The initial cohort of members includes:

  •  Neil Carmichael (Chair);
  •  Ian Ashman (former President, Association of Colleges);
  •  Alice Barnard (Chief Executive, The Edge Foundation);
  •  Jim Clifford (Partner & Director of Advisory/Impact, Bates Wells Braithwaite);
  •  Ann Francke (Chief Executive, Chartered Management Institute);
  •  Nick Hudson (Chief Executive, Ormiston Academies Trust);
  •  John Laramy (Principal & Chief Executive, Exeter College);
  •  Dave Phoenix (Vice-Chancellor, London South Bank University);
  •  James Kirkup (Director, Social Market Foundation);
  •  Mark Stewart (Hr Director, Airbus);
  •  Ian Looker (Education Lead, PWC);
  •  Professor Geoff Wake (University of Nottingham);
  •  Pearson’s Rod Bristow (President, UK & Core Markets) and Cindy Rampersaud (Senior Vice-President, BTEC & Apprenticeships, Pearson) will also attend.

In particular, but not exclusively, the group will seek evidence, in the form of research and testimony on the following six issues:

  •  Predictions about the future of work and skills, taking into account global and local trends, many of which have been documented in recent industry reports.
  •  The relationship between academic study and vocational, or career, training.
  •  The interface between employers/entrepreneurs and educators – establishing the equilibrium between supply and demand for skills.
  •  The relationship between curriculum design and assessment/awards.
  •  Routes & signposting in the education for the learner, including lifelong learning.

Neil Carmichael commented: “I am delighted to be leading this commission. This is a time of huge challenges in education and society. To meet those challenges we need the independent expertise of schools, colleges, universities, employers, learners and policy makers to be collated into practical suggestions to aid the government and others in equipping Great Britain for the task ahead.”

Rod Bristow, President of Pearson in the UK commented: “Pearson is committed to supporting high quality research, investigation and public dialogue which improves the quality of education in the UK. That is why I am so pleased to have joined and be supporting the new Commission on Skills under Neil Carmichael. This work will build on the publication of Pearson’s recent ‘Future of Skills: Employment in 2030’ report which highlights the critical skills citizens will need in the challenging and evolving decades ahead.”

The Commission has made its first call for evidence and will be hosting a public session on ‘The future of the world of work’ on 11th June at London South Bank University, and a second on 21st June at the Festival of Education.

More information on these public sessions and the Commission can be found at:

https://www.pearson.com/uk/about-us/news-and-policy/the-commission-on-sustainable-learning-for-life–work-and-a-changing-economy.html