“At the end of the day we asked participants to reflect on the day’s discussions and to highlight what they had learned and what surprised them the most. Everyone was then asked to make a personal commitment of what they were going to do differently or change as a result of taking part.
Nearly all participants said they were surprised by the enormity and complexity of the challenge ahead. The statistics participants remembered were the UK’s low international ranking in post-16 education, how the UK economy compares to China and India, and how many people do not have literacy and numeracy skills.
“I’m worried about the enormity of the problem, but reassuring that a cross-section of people at our table seem to be agreeing about the need for something to be done.”
Many found the day’s collaborative approach positive and the experience of sharing views and hearing different perspectives useful. There is recognition that everyone has a role to play and the solution to the skills challenge needs to be shared by everyone.
“It’s reinforced that we need to do our bit.”
“We live in a brutally competitive globalised economy and it’s no good saying I wish we didn’t, because we do. If the 19th century belonged to Britain and the 20th century belonged to America, the 21st century belongs to Asia.”