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Government Good at Getting People Back to Work, but needs to be Sustainable


This was the conclusion reached by Michael Davis, the Chief Executive of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, during the BAE Systems Skills 2020 debate.

Mr Davis stated, before an audience of business, education, recruitment and government representatives:

“We need to avoid a low-wage, low-skilled cycle. Government is proving to be rather good at getting people back to work, but this needs to be sustainable – people need to be continually learning in their jobs, not merely getting paid.”

BAE Systems organised and hosted the debate in order to discuss what action the country could take to avoid a future skills shortage, creating the kind of ‘sustainable’ environment advocated by Mr Davis.

Nigel Whitehead, the Group MD of Programme and Support at BAE suggested one solution, calling for an end to so-called ‘sounding boards’ and ‘talking shops’, pointing out that his company “invest(s) £79m annually in skills and education activities in the UK, working with top Universities – including the Institute of Manufacturing at Cambridge University.”

Engineering and manufacturing recruitment director, David Shelton of Core Talent Recruitment, who attended the debate, noted: “BAE Systems’ work with Cambridge University is commendable, particularly when you consider that although 4 of the top 10 universities in the world are based in the UK, the nation is still considered skills poor.

“The government’s work supporting the growth of skills in all areas that are lacking is also helping to fill the UK’s skills gap” continued David Shelton.

The consensus therefore, seems to be that in order to achieve the kind of ‘sustainability’ referred to by Michael Davis, both the government and the private sector need to invest in plugging the skills hole.

Core Talent is a North West recruitment agency specialising in engineering, manufacturing, purchasing and supply chain jobs in Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool. For more information visit the firm’s dedicated website:


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