In the past those who had the raw materials and the infrastructure were the ones with the competitive advantage.
Today, what matters most is who has the ideas, the insights and the creativity.
And in the future it will no longer be the shortage of jobs but the shortage of skills that will be the biggest barrier to full employment.
So Britain’s long-term prosperity depends more than ever on developing the talents and potential of all our people to the full. This means that:
- when people sign on for benefits they sign up for skills as well. We want everyone with skills needs to address them as a condition of receiving out-of-work benefits, and are consulting on firm proposals to achieve this;
- everyone should have access to a personal Skills Account as well as better advice, support and information about the training they are entitled to. And we are taking the next steps to extend people’s entitlements to training that boosts our economic performance; and
- we must continue to improve the way public services are delivered. We are devolving responsibilities to local areas and putting employers at the heart of our system.
Government can set the framework, but we rely on the hard work and commitment of employers and of all our delivery partners to ensure that businesses can recruit and retain the people with the skills they need to continue to compete in the workplace of tomorrow.
I urge everyone to join me in working towards a more highly-skilled Britain where the talents of each of us contribute to the well-being and prosperity of us all.