Our Clients - UKCES

Case Study – Horizon Scanning and Scenario Building: Scenarios for Skills 2020


This report was commissioned by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills to contribute to the evidence base for Skills for Jobs: Today and Tomorrow, the National Strategic Skills Audit for England 2010. The report draws upon horizon scanning techniques, scenarios and interviews to identify the key drivers of change in the UK and globally which may impact on the employment and skills landscape in England by 2020

SAMI’s Role

The project addressed the question: “What will be the drivers and impact of change on the employment and skills landscape in England by 2020; what are the challenges and opportunities for government and employers?” SAMI undertook a horizon scanning/scenario development study. The study identified over 100 drivers that appeared important in the development of the skills landscape of England by around 2020. These drivers were then reassessed according to their potential impact and likelihood of occurring, to provide a set of twenty key drivers grouped under seven main headings, namely:

  • Economics and globalisation
  • Technology
  • Demographics
  • Environmental change
  • Values and Identity
  • Regulation and Multi-Level Governance
  • Impacts on Work and Employment – Secondary Drivers

From these drivers some key issues were identified including:

  • Globalised markets
  • New Training paradigms
  • Generation Y
  • Infrastructure
  • Up-Skilling and Multi-Skilling

The Outcomes

SAMI looked at the Challenges and Opportunities for Government Skills Policy and identified the following key areas:

  • Dealing with uncertainty
  • Improving the employment and skills system
  • Increasing employer ambition
  • Raising ambition in individuals
  • Assumptions about the future
  • Understanding technology life cycles

The full audit report produced by UKCES can be seen on their website here.