The event attracted senior representatives from across the
skills landscape. The organisations represented included
AGCAS, the Alliance of Sector Skills Councils, Chambers of
Commerce, the Improvement Service, Scotland's Colleges, Scottish
Enterprise, Scottish Qualifications Authority, Scottish Funding
Council, the Scottish Government, the Scottish Training Federation,
Skills Development Scotland, Universities Scotland and the UKCES.
There was also representation from individual Scottish colleges,
universities and local authorities. The diverse nature of the
audience demonstrated the importance of the topic and contributed
to a wide-ranging debate.
The presenters gave expert briefings on:
- Labour under-utilization in the recession
- Active labour market programmes
In the first paper, Professor Felstead concluded that
unemployment statistics mask the true impact of the recession and
that part-time and short time working (labour under-utilisation)
are also issues. This has been on the rise and affects some groups,
such as young people, more than others.
In the second paper, Andy Hirst concluded that active labour
market programmes can help individuals into work if they are
personalised, flexible, adequately funded and do not rely
exclusively on a 'work first' solution.