Prof Alison Wolf, Ian Stuart and Sir Chris Husbands in conversation: 'Britain's long-running 'skills crisis': why can't we fix it? and what would it take to do so?'

12 November 2021

Portrait of Professor Sir Paul Collier

with Professor Sir Paul Collier
Professor of Economics and Public Policy

Sir Paul Collier is Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government and a Professorial Fellow of St Antony’s College. From 1998–2003 he took a five-year Public Service leave during which he was Director of the Researc...

This country has been worrying about vocational skills since the late 19th century.

Since then we have had one government initiative after another, yet employers' complaints about skill shortages have steadily increased. At the same time, the country has continued to grow economically: so sceptics might wonder if there is really a crisis at all. This conversation brings three expert academic and practitioner perspectives on this vital issue.

  • Alison Wolf (Baroness Wolf of Dulwich) is Sir Roy Griffiths Professor of Public Sector Management at King's College London and a nationally recognized academic authority on skills and education.
  • Sir Chris Husbands, is Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, where he has pioneered vocational training, now recognized nationally in its top-rated reputation with students.
  • Ian Stuart is the Chief Executive of HSBC, which has just pioneered bank relocation out of London, moving its HQ to Birmingham. There, it will become a major employer of skilled jobs; and as one of Britain’s top banks for SMEs in the Midlands and North, has practical experience of whether the skills needed for entrepreneurship and in place.