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Call for Evidence

Call for evidence

The House of Lords Industry and Regulators Committee, chaired by Baroness Taylor of Bolton, has launched an inquiry into skills policy, focusing in particular on apprenticeships and training in the context of the skills the UK economy needs for the future.

The Committee invites interested individuals and organisations to submit evidence by Thursday 30 May 2024. The Committee will be holding public evidence sessions between April and June, and hopes to report to the House before the summer recess.


Skills policies are policies designed to ensure people have the skills to perform effectively in the workplace, and in turn the economic needs of UK industry more broadly. Skills in the UK are delivered in a number of ways, including through educational institutions, independent training providers, and employers. Within Government, responsibility for skills policy currently sits with the Department for Education.

This inquiry will focus in particular on the role of apprenticeships and in-work training in delivering the skills the UK economy needs for the future. The inquiry will examine whether the UK’s current systems and policies for apprenticeships and in-work training are working and, if not, how they should be reformed. In doing so, the inquiry will consider the responsibilities of government, employers, training providers, and individuals, and the incentives facing these groups.

Skills policy is devolved within the UK, with distinct policies in place in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Given that the House of Lords scrutinises the UK Government rather than the devolved administrations, the scope of this inquiry is limited to policies that are either UK-wide or England-only.

Contributing evidence

The Committee encourages anyone with expertise in or experience of the matters under consideration in its inquiry to submit written evidence.

Diversity comes in many forms, and hearing a range of different perspectives means that committees are better informed and can more effectively scrutinise public policy and legislation. Committees can undertake their role most effectively when they hear from a wide range of individuals, sectors or groups in society affected by a particular policy or piece of legislation. We encourage anyone with experience or expertise of an issue under investigation by a Select Committee to share their views with the Committee, with the full knowledge that their views have value and are welcome.

If you wish to contribute your experience and expertise to this inquiry, please respond to the questions below. There is no obligation to answer every question.


The Committee is interested in answers to the following questions:

  • What kinds of skills do you think will be needed for the future of the UK economy? Is the UK’s skills and training system capable of equipping increasing numbers of people with these skills?
  • Is it clear to everyone involved in the skills system what the respective roles of the Government, employers, individuals and institutions are within that system?
  • What is the appropriate level of government intervention in the development of skills policies? How can government best add value in this area?
  • Are current Government policies on skills, particularly apprenticeships and training, sufficiently clear? Have policies and the institutional set-up been sufficiently consistent over time? If not, what changes or reforms would you recommend?
  • Are the right institutions in place to ensure an effective skills system for the future? Should co-ordinating institutions be national, regional or sectoral, or a mixture of each?
  • Concerns have been raised over the operation of the Apprenticeship Levy, particularly in relation to the decline in young people taking on apprenticeships. Is there a case for reforming the levy, for example by ring-fencing more levy funding for training for younger apprentices?
  • What should the role of business be in encouraging the development of skills in the UK? Should business be a consumer, funder, trainer or co-designer of skills provision?
  • In a more mobile, flexible labour market, what incentives do employers have to provide training for their employees? Why do you think that employer investment in training has declined in recent decades?
  • Should further incentives be put in place to reverse the decline in employer investment in training, and if so, what form should these incentives take?
  • What incentives do individuals have to involve themselves in apprenticeships and training? Is the system available and attractive enough to encourage individuals to seek training, and if not, what can be done to improve this?
  • How does the UK’s approach to skills and training compare to those of other countries? Are there examples of good practice that the UK should be learning from?

This call for written evidence has now closed.

Go back to Skills for the future: apprenticeships and training Inquiry