Sense & Instability 2019

In our latest research report, Sense & Instability we call on the Government to urgently rethink how skills and education policy in the UK is designed and delivered.

07 June 2019

Working with The Research Base, we found that important lessons from the implementation of skills policy over several decades have not been learned, meaning badly-needed training and education programmes are not fit for purpose or delivering the right results for people, businesses and the economy.

Our research also found that the wrong measurement combined with almost no evaluation of the efficacy of the Government’s training and education policy is resulting in poor investment decisions. Unlike the Department for Transport and Department for International Development, the Department for Education does not have a value for money framework in place.

Unless this situation is improved, the consequences could be devastating not only to the UK’s economic success and productivity, but also the Government's attempts to foster better social mobility.

To help tackle this issue, we are repeating our call for the creation of a new independent body to oversee the development and implementation of skills and education policy in the UK.


In the report we make a number of key recommendations to improve the design and delivery of skills policy in the UK. These include:

  • Embedding success measures within skills programme design, consultation and delivery from the outset, including a thorough impact assessment process and a clear setting out of intended outcomes and impact
  • Better use of pilots to validate these measures and longitudinal impact studies to track outcomes
  • Developing a continuous improvement process within programme delivery – as well as gathering ‘lessons learned’ for future reference
  • Developing a clear Value for Money framework for skills policy and the creation of an evidence base for the skills sector
  • Improving access to programmes for the most disadvantaged and hard-to-reach learner groups through better use of outcome and impact measures, such as single-parents, people with health and other conditions, ex-offenders and care leavers

Read the research now:

Sense & Instability Report 2019 Executive Summary

Sense & Instability 2019 Full Report

Sense & Instability Report 2016 Executive Summary

Sense & Instability 2016 Full Report