05 December 2006


The Government commissioned Sandy Leitch in 2004 to undertake an independent review of the UK's long term skills needs. The Review published its interim report "Skills in the UK: the long term challenge" in December 2005. It committed the Review, in its final report, to identify the UK’s optimal skills mix for 2020 to maximise economic growth, productivity and social justice, set out the balance of responsibility for achieving that skills profile and consider the policy framework required to support it.

The final report of the Leitch Review of Skills, Prosperity for all in the global economy - world class skills, was published on 5th December 2006.

The Review sets out a compelling vision for the UK. It shows that the UK must urgently raise achievements at all levels of skills and recommends that it commit to becoming a world leader in skills by 2020, benchmarked against the upper quartile of the OECD. This means doubling attainment at most levels of skill. Responsibility for achieving ambitions must be shared between Government, employers and individuals.

It is available below in Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF). If you do not have Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer you can download the software free of charge from the Adobe website. For alternative ways to read PDF documents and further information on website accessibility visit the HM Treasury accessibility page.

Final report

PDF file of Prosperity for all in the global economy - world class skills (719KB)
(ISBN: 978-0-11-840486 -0)

Press notice - Lord Leitch publishes review of long term skills needs

Interim report

PDF file of Skills in the UK: The long-term challenge-Executive Summary (173KB)
PDF file of Skills in the UK: The long-term challenge-Chapters 1-6 (619KB)
PDF file of Skills in the UK: The long-term challenge-Annexes (221KB)

Press Notice - Skills in the UK: The long term challenge 051205

Additional documents

The Sector Skills Development Agency (SSDA) research on behalf of the Leitch Review from Cambridge Econometrics and the Warwick Institute for Employment Research.

PDF file of Alternative Skills Scenarios to 2020 for the UK Economy - Executive Summary (888KB)
PDF file of Alternative Skills Scenarios to 2020 for the UK Economy - Chapters (236KB)
PDF file of Alternative Skills Scenarios to 2020 for the UK Economy - Bibliography and Annex (32KB)

Call for evidence

On 1st April 2005, stakeholders were invited to submit evidence to the Leitch Review of Skills.

PDF file of a letter from Sandy Leitch inviting submissions of evidence to the Leitch Review
PDF file of the call for evidence document identifying the key questions for discussion

The deadline for the Call for Evidence was 20th May 2005. A summary of the responses to the Call for Evidence is set out in Annex B in the Review’s interim report, Skills in the UK: The long-term challenge.


The context for the Review was set out in the 2004 Pre-Budget Report document Skills in the global economy describes the social and economic problems caused by the stock of adults in the UK without basic skills such as literacy and numeracy; the need for a highly skilled workforce to confront the challenges posed by global markets; and evidence of the UK’s relatively poor international position in intermediate level skills.

Terms of reference

The terms of reference published alongside the 2004 Pre-Budget Report are:

  • to examine the UK’s optimum skills mix in order to maximise economic growth and productivity by 2020; and
  • in particular, to consider the different trajectories of skill levels the UK might pursue.

Key questions for the Review to address are:

  • What is the current trajectory for the development of skills in the UK and therefore the likely profile of skills in 2020?
  • What will be the optimal skills mix in 2020? For example, in relation to economic and social objectives; the feasibility and cost of implementing policy; and international comparisons.
  • What trajectories can the UK pursue in order to achieve this skills profile by 2020?
  • What are the implications for policy?

Sandy Leitch

Sandy Leitch is Chairman of the National Employment Panel and formerly a Chief Executive of Zurich Financial Services.

Review Team contact details

The contact details for the Leitch Review of Skills project team are:
Leitch Review of Skills
Zone 4/E1
HM Treasury
1 Horse Guards Road
London SW1A 2HQ
Email: leitch.review@hm-treasury.gov.uk
Fax: 020 7270 4414

Related links

Department for Education and Skills

Independent Review index
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