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Foresight Project

What are the key factors shaping the skills and employment landscape – and what could be the possible scenarios for the UK by 2030? 

These are the challenging and interesting questions that are being addressed by the University of South Wales’s Centre for Research in Futures and Innovation in a study for the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) – the publicly funded, industry led organisation providing strategic leadership on skills and employment issues in the four home nations of the UK.

Prof. Martin Rhisiart of CRI-FI worked with a German partner, Z punkt, to deliver the research, which included an analysis of trends and potential disruptions for the labour market, interviews with senior leaders from the UK and internationally, and 2030 scenarios for skills and employment in the UK.

The study identifies options and implications for key stakeholders in the skills and employment agenda: employers, education and training providers, individuals and policy-makers. The 2030 scenarios will focus on seven of the key economic sectors for the UK, and assess possible impacts on representative occupations. The 2030 qualitative Foresight project complements the other research conducted by UKCES on quantitative skills projections.

The main report and results were launched by UKCES in the first quarter of 2014.

Prof. Rhisiart commented: 'Understanding future skills and employment needs is crucial for economic success. This project takes a holistic approach to understanding the potential interaction of economic, social and technological factors – and the position of the UK in a global skills and employment context. By analysing the evidence base and engaging senior leaders and international experts, we will develop insights for employers, policy-makers, individuals and education and training providers to address the anticipated challenges ahead across the nations of the UK.’

The Centre for Research in Futures and Innovation conducts Foresight work for a range of organisations. Recent funded projects for national agencies and research bodies have addressed themes such as innovation, research policy, skills, and the environment.