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Skills for productivity growth

The Productivity Agenda: Chapter 6

The notion that the education and skills of the country’s workforce make an important contribution to productivity growth and improved living standards is deeply engrained, long underpinning UK economic and education policy. Yet this focus on the supply of skills overlooks the importance of what kinds of skills employers are looking for on the demand side, particularly given regional differentials and technological change.

The UK faces significant challenges in building a more effective framework of policy and employer practice to raise productivity and living standards, and in ensuring that economic opportunities are fit for people’s aspirations at work. The UK’s policy architecture is inadequate for a high productivity, high skill growth model, beset by skill mismatches, regional disparities, underinvestment, policy churn and policy fragmentation.

The paper also includes a number of policy implications.

Author: Damian Grimshaw (King’s College London), Mary O’Mahony (King’s College London), Andrew Westwood (The University of Manchester)



  • Productivity Studies




D. Grimshaw, M. O’Mahony, A. Westwood (2023) Skills for productivity growth. Productivity Insights Paper No. 023, The Productivity Institute.