Despite the progressive goals of adult learning the danger is that it leads to greater polarisation in skills, leaving Britain less productive and less equal. This pamphlet explores which policies can help reverse this trend. It argues that reform of the education and training system is important, but insufficient. People face everyday barriers to training – from busy personal lives to low-skilled jobs – that limit their access to training opportunities. A coherent skills strategy therefore needs to work on three fronts: the labour market, the training system and people’s everyday lives.
The time has come to do everything possible to meet the needs of those with low formal skills but bigger ambitions, who deserve better.