Budget 2021: Rishi Sunak to Pledge Funding for T-Levels

Match skills to jobs…

I know it’s an obvious statement but without the right skills identified, a job is simply a vacancy – and the chances of someone succeeding in the role is reduced or zero. Most new employees are looking for a new job within 90 days of starting and churn is costly for companies and jobseekers. To boot, the emotional cost of not finding the right job is, as of yet, not calculated but I imagine has a chronic impact on self confidence, self esteem and mental health. 


The UK’s Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, recently announced more funding for skills training and is a step forward in recognizing the need to up and re-skill the population. But it’s not gone far enough. 

The focus tends to be on school leavers and graduates - it should be widened to include all workers.

Why not provide a ‘Skills Bond’ – a bursary to be used at any time of your working life after leaving school – 16, 35 or 70… you choose when it’s right to retrain and upskill. You draw down on the Bond and use at approved lifelong learning institutions. 

The ‘Skills Bond’ is an investment in you and could work like a passport allowing you to take to your next employer – topping up what the employer provides. Or use it at an FE college, Uni or online course to suit you. 

You are the best judge of this and trying to load this in the early years when you’re not sure of what’s jobs are out there and what you want to do is often wasteful and counter productive. The vast majority of us have spent time in a role we didn’t like or couldn’t do. 

After years in education some of us want a break and a chance to explore other options before more learning. Improving your human (soft) skills through travel or volunteering may be the right thing. There is so much ‘skills capital’ in the population that could be tapped and upgraded through a ‘Skills Bond’ but the emphasis tends to be focused on the under 25s.


We do need a rethink of how early years education & lifelong learning join up to provide us with the skills for the future or work (and life). 

It requires looking at the problem in a different way and trusting people to make the right decision. 

Some will abuse, but most won’t and it represents the best chance of matching the right skills to the jobs of the future.


C’mon Rishi – think the next generation, not just the next parliament.

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