Skills to shape a better world of work

The Work Foundation, 21 Palmer Street, London SW1H 0AD

Tuesday 17th  of September 2019, 10:30 – 13:00 

 Launch of ”OECD Skills Strategy 2019: Skills for Shaping a Better World” report


Skills are vital in enabling individuals and countries to thrive in an increasingly complex, interconnected and rapidly changing world. Countries in which people develop strong skills, learn throughout their lives, and use their skills fully and effectively at work and in society are more productive and innovative, enjoy higher levels of trust, better health outcomes and a higher quality of life.




Implementing skills reforms effectively is a complex task, since skills policy is located at the intersection of education, labour market, industrial and other policy domains. This implies the need to coordinate and collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders. Inter-sectoral reforms are often associated with very complex redistributive trade-offs as they are characterised by distribution and redistribution of resources across and between sectors as well as levels of government. Therefore, when designing and implementing skills policies, governments often face enormous political and technical challenges.


OECD Skills Strategy 2019 updates the original 2012 Skills Strategy, incorporating important lessons learned from applying the OECD Skills Strategy framework in 14 countries. The updated strategy presents new evidence about skills polices that work as well as on the skills implications of megatrends, such as globalisation, digitalisation, population ageing or migration. It also identifies the importance for healthy skills systems of strong governance arrangements, and efficient funding models, underpinned by a whole-of-government approach.


This is your chance to debate the issues. The OECD Skills Strategy dashboard shows the UK is a relatively strong performer overall in developing and using people’s skills. However, the UK is not a leader in skills development and use. The comparatively low levels of basic skills among tertiary graduates in particular is a concern. There are important questions to be asked about whether the UK’s performance in developing and using the skills of its people is adequate in the context of a rapidly changing and complex world.



10.30 Coffee and registration
11:00-11:05 Introductions Lesley Giles (Chair), Director of the Work Foundation
11:05-11:20 Presentation of research findings – Montserrat Gomendio, Head of Skills Centre, OECD
11:20-12:00 Panel discussion

  • Rob Wall, Head of Policy, CMI
  • Julie Stone, Associate Pro-vice chancellor External Affairs, University of Derby
  • Stephen Farry, Ex Minister for Employment and Learning and FE Commissioner
  • Jonathan Green, Head of Research, Prospect
  • Michael Davies, Deputy Director, Technical Qualifications Development & Regulation, DfE – tbc

12:00-12:55 Q&A
12:55-13:00 Closing remarks

To register click here