The College of the Future (COF) has called for the creation of a new service through college employer hubs to tackle the UK skills gaps.
In a new report the group requested an establishment be formed to “give businesses a one-stop shop for upskilling current employees, finding the skilled workers they need, as well as innovation support.”
The COF stated “the case for action is clear, Covid-19 consequences, leaving the EU, climate change and the fourth industrial revolution mean that everyone will need access to part-time, adult and vocational education as the economy and jobs change.”
Radical change is needed in education and skills policies and systems so that colleges can encourage people to train, upskill or acquire new skills throughout their lives for the jobs of tomorrow.
It follows recent research from CBI that found 9 in 10 people will need new skills by 2030 to support the future economy, and that further and faster action is needed.
Matthew Fell, CBI chief UK policy director, and member of the independent commission of the COF said: “CBI-McKinsey analysis suggests that as automation transforms the nature of work, widespread reskilling will help society unlock the benefits of new technologies, support job creation and tackle inequality.
“Colleges have a vital role to play in this, and the Commission’s report sets out a bold vision for how institutions can collaborate with businesses to boost the life chances of people from all backgrounds.”
He added: “We have the opportunity of a lifetime to revamp further education, and place partnership between institutions and employers at its heart. This will help colleges provide more tailored support to local labour markets, and empower individuals to develop the skills they need to succeed.”