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Upskilling for the Future of Work

November 20, 2019 7:30 PM

Lib Dem Skills Wallet promotional image

Skills Wallet invests in our people to succeed in tomorrow's workplace

New technologies are continuously disrupting the labour market, and our education system is struggling to keep up. The skills shortage costs UK businesses £4.4 bn a year, and more than two-thirds of employers are struggling to find people with the skills they need*. As some jobs become automated and new occupations are created, effective adult education is becoming more urgent to keep our economy competitive, close the productivity gap, and enable everyone to reach their full potential. That's where the Liberal Democrats' Skills Wallet comes in.

The Skills Wallet will empower people to develop new skills, so they can thrive in the technologies and industries that are key to the UK's future economic prosperity. That's why, as part of our Plan for the Future, the Liberal Democrats have set out our vision for a new era of learning throughout life with the creation of an ambitious Skills Wallet. This will give every adult £10,000 to spend on education and training during their working lives.

A Liberal Democrat government will put £4,000 into people's 'Skills Wallet' at age 25, £3,000 at 40 and another £3,000 at 55. Grants are designed to encourage saving towards the costs of education and training throughout adult life. Individuals, their employers and local government will be able to make additional payments into the wallets. Access to free careers guidance will also be provided.

By investing the £50bn Remain Bonus in these Skills Wallets, the Liberal Democrats will empower people to develop new skills so that they can thrive in the technologies and industries that are key to the UK's economic future and prosperity.

As well as providing free childcare from 9 months and giving every child the best start in life by recruiting 20,000 more teachers -- as part of an extra £10bn a year for our schools -- the Liberal Democrats are investing in our people and embracing the future of work. The Conservatives and Labour are stuck pursuing 20th-century policies that simply won't work in our 21st-century economy.

The Skills Wallet:

  • £10,000 for every adult to spend on education/training throughout their lives.
  • £4,000 at 25 years old, £3,000 at 40, and another £3,000 at 55.
  • Individuals, employers and local government will be able to pay into the wallets.
  • You'll get to choose how and when to spend the money yourself - as long as it's a course from an approved provider.
  • £1.9 billion annual cost funded by returning Corporation Tax to the 2010 rate of 20%.

*Open University Business Barometer