As announced in the 2015 Spending Review, in order to prioritise funding to allow the core adult skills participation budgets to be protected in cash terms, Whitehall Departments will be withdrawing their funding for the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) during 2016-17.
UKCES’ work over the last parliament has helped in setting the skills agenda for the future and their activities have created the conditions to move to the next phase of more devolution, greater employer ownership and the apprenticeship levy. It is important that we now have new structures to move onto that next phase and we have announced the establishment in England of a new Institute for Apprenticeships.
As a result of these decisions, Whitehall departments have been working with the UK Commission to agree a way forward.
National Occupational Standards (NOS) will be managed by the Devolved Administrations and transferred to another public sector organisation. Decisions on the detail of how NOS will be managed are the responsibility of the Devolved Administrations who are currently considering next steps. The contents of the NOS database will remain publicly available and employers throughout the UK can continue to use NOS if they so choose although they are not a mandatory requirement in England for either qualifications or apprenticeships.
The management of the Employer Skills Survey, the Employer Perspectives Survey and the LMI (Labour Market Information) for All Portal will be moved into the Department for Education. The Investors in People function will continue and the Government is looking at arrangements to secure its future and growth.
All operational activities of UKCES will be concluded by the end of 2016 and it is expected the organisation will be wound up in line with the end of its financial year, 2016-17.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords