23 Nov 2021
by Nimmi Patel

Labour announces Council of Skills Advisors

Labour leader promises to get young people ready for work and ready for life with new campaign. techUK has long called for this.

Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer has announced a new campaign to ensure young people leave education ready for work and ready for life, supported by a Council of Skills Advisors to rethink how we deliver an education fit for the 21st century.

techUK recommended this in its skills report and is pleased to see this reflected in the Labour party’s approach.

Speaking at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) annual conference, Starmer said the Council will: “recommend the change we need to ensure everyone leaves education job ready and life ready, … explore how to ensure that young people are literate in the technology of the day” and “raise the sights of all pupils” giving every young person new ambitions and the belief they will achieve them.

Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green will be touring the country with Labour’s new Skills Advisors Lord David Blunkett, Rachel Sandby-Thomas, and Praful Nargund, engaging with employers, educators, parents and young people to discuss what a skills system that equips young people for the future should look like.

The announcement comes as Labour analysis reveals that children in Kensington and Chelsea are almost twice as likely as children in Hull to achieve essential level 3 qualifications (A-level or BTEC equivalent). Analysis of government data shows regional and local inequalities in young people gaining essential qualifications with children in London 31% more likely achieve this mark than children in the North East. 

While both government and businesses across the UK are working together to improve careers advice in schools so that young people are aware of the high-quality options available for both technical and academic routes into digital careers, there is clearly more we can and should do provide access to information about the variety of careers that digital technology pathways have to offer. This should be signposted to people of all ages and all skill levels. techUK is a part of the consortium developing the UK Cyber Security Council which will look to develop clearer career pathways and support the profession. Instigated by government but delivered by a coalition of industry partners, this is a good example of progress that can be made together.

techUK has stated often that while government is rightfully focusing on addressing the discrepancy between Further Education and Higher Education, it should also look beyond traditional routes to consider new approaches to learning that are fit for purpose for the 21st century.


Nimmi Patel

Nimmi Patel

Policy Manager - Skills, Talent & Diversity, techUK

Nimmi Patel is the Policy Manager for Skills, Talent and Diversity at techUK.

She works on all things skills policy, focusing on upskilling and retrain. Nimmi also leads techUK’s immigration work, collaborating with techUK members and stakeholders to create an environment that attracts the best talent to the UK.

Prior to joining the team, she worked for the UK Labour Party and New Zealand Labour Party and holds a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Manchester and is currently studying MA Strategic Communications at King’s College London.

[email protected]

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