Past fellows and projects

A 21st Century Skills System: a cross-country comparison between Scotland and Northern Ireland

Building upon earlier work looking at the future challenges facing Scotland’s skills system, this project led by IPPR will consider how best to respond to these challenges and a skills system ready for the 21st Century in Northern Ireland and Scotland can be created, delivering innovation in our economy and our society.

Scotland and Northern Ireland share many characteristics. Both have skills systems that have undergone significant change in recent years, with college mergers and funding pressures. Equally, the economies of Northern Ireland and Scotland underperform in many ways against some parts of the UK, with Northern Ireland at the bottom of many of the economic indicators.

However, there are clear differences too in relation to the architecture of the skills system and governance. These similarities and differences provide fertile territory for comparing and contrasting the challenges facing the skills system in each nation, and considering how to respond.

This project aims to set out key measures of success for the skills system, and develop a success framework for a 21st Century skills system.  It also seeks to set out how Scotland and NI could best utilise the skills system to deliver innovation and positive impact on the economy and society.