• ‘We want your views’, an introduction by John Hayes, Minister for FE

    Skills are vital to our economy. This was clear even before Lord Leitch published his report in 2006, demonstrating the need for urgent action if we are to retain our competitiveness and make progress in the future.

    Meeting this challenge necessitates building a system able to respond to the needs of a dynamic economy. We want to build a system driven by the informed choices of learners and employers. This means giving providers the flexibility they need to meet the needs of different learners and different economic sectors.

    But too often in the recent past, the strength of the economic case has been portrayed as the only case for skills, creating an implicit divide between learning that is useful and learning that is useless. We emphasise the economic and overlook the social and cultural benefits of learning at our peril. Read the full introduction