College of the Future Report

Monday 23 November 2020

A recently published report by the Independent Commission on the College of the Future has called for radical, long-term education and skills reforms and investment to address current future skills gaps and transform life chances for every adult.

The College of the Future, calls for every adult to have the right to lifetime education and training, and for colleges to be placed front and centre of these reforms across the UK’s four nations. The report sets out eleven recommendations for reform and renewal of the college systems, but say the following three key recommendations must be priorities:

  1. Upskilling people across the UK by making it possible for everyone to learn throughout their lives, whatever route they choose to take – with a statutory right to lifelong learning.
  2. Backing business, driving innovation and addressing skills gaps by establishing a unique service for employers at their local colleges for training and upskilling future and current employees and innovation support.
  3. Creating an impactful post-16 education and skills system that addresses unproductive competition between institutions so that everyone can access high-quality education and learning that works for them.

Sir Ian Diamond, Chair of the Independent Commission on the College of the Future and UK National Statistician said: “Colleges are vital yet under-utilised institutions that offer the transformational learning and support that our four nations need now, more than ever, if we are to face the long term impacts of COVID-19 and to drive a sustainable, inclusive economy.

“We must all commit to a bold ambition on skills. Lifelong learning is the only way to ensure people and businesses will survive the recession and thrive in the future. With the right support, colleges can deliver on this urgent need for every community.”