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Socio-Economic Impact Report

Learning Curve Group commissioned an independent body, to develop a socio-economic impact report for businesses, policymakers and thought leaders. The research aims to demonstrate to policymakers the importance of improving skills across the UK, including in areas of higher deprivation, and bring training and upskilling to a prominent position within the government’s levelling-up agenda.

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This report should act as a timely reminder of the vital importance of training. Economic modelling has provided quantitative evidence, whilst business interviews, a literature review and a survey of training recipients has provided qualitative evidence to complement the numbers. This variety of evidence underlines how necessary it is for a nation to invest in upskilling.

From whatever perspective one looks at the benefits of training, whether it be from individuals, businesses, the economy or wider society, they are substantial:

  • Training boosts economic growth with a net present value benefit of £206 million for the wider economy from Learning Curve Group training recipients gaining qualifications through their courses for each annual cohort.
  • Individuals can enjoy higher wages, well-being and employability and more, with a £32-50 million annual wage gain from people moving into employment after undertaking Learning Curve Group training, for every year of training Learning Curve Group undertakes. This represents a wage increase of between £16,000 and £25,000 per trainee.
  • Businesses can see improved productivity and reduced costs, with a £5.4 million annual productivity gain for businesses, for people already in work at the time of their training, on account of Learning Curve Group’s training.
  • Wider societal benefits include a roughly £12 million per year well-being benefit on account of Learning Curve Group trainees entering employment from unemployment, within six months of taking their training course.

Policymakers should acknowledge that further action is required to boost training throughout the UK so that these various benefits are captured to the greatest extent possible.

The findings of the business interviews suggest more should be done by policymakers to ensure that businesses can adequately invest in their employees. This could be by enabling apprenticeship levy funds to be spent more flexibly on a wider range of training so that funds can be directed towards addressing the most pressing skills shortages, or through other use of financial assistance and incentives. 

Policymakers should incentivise particular types of training to address the most pressing skills and labour shortages, including digital, leadership and management and STEM skills. In doing so, the government can turbocharge economic growth. 

Finally, by putting training at the heart of the levelling up agenda, the government can boost the wealth and well-being of individuals that are more deprived. Individual benefits ultimately scale up to society as a whole and, if policy is well-targeted, training can be a potent tool to reduce inequality and ensure a happier, more prosperous society.