Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure GB-2002-36/2512 – measures in United Kingdom
|Country||United Kingdom , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Open ended, started on 01 September 2002|
|Context||COVID-19, Restructuring Support Instruments|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Ensuring business continuity and support for essential services
– Smoothing frictions or reallocation of workers
|Author||Claire Evans (Warwick University) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||23 June 2022 (updated 03 January 2023)|
Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) are independent, employer-led organisations which seek to build a skills system that is driven by employer demand. SSCs apply to specific economic sectors. There are 13 Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) with the following industry coverage:
In addition, there are five Sector Skills Bodies (SSBs) with the following coverage:
The Sector Skills Councils and Bodies are supported by the Federation for Industry Sector Skills & Standards (FISSS) and funded through various means, including competitive government funding, contributions from member organisations and income from the services they provide, for example, consultancy services.
Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) have four key goals:
Each SSC agrees sector priorities and targets with its employers and partners to address five key goals:
Due to major funding changes introduced in 2012, there is no longer a comprehensive system of grant funding from government for SSCs and Sector Skills Bodies - their funding now largely depends on how successful they are in bidding applications to various government funds and contributions from member organisations.
The national government has provided legal framework and licensing of councils, as well as funding. Funding is provided from a variety of sources, including the UK government and member organisations. SSCs are dynamic organisations, with new SSCs being established and existing ones being closed.
There are 13 Sector Skills Councils and five Sector Skills Bodies based across all sectors of the UK economy. The SSCs and Sector Skills Bodies come under the umbrella of the Federation for Industry Sector Skills & Standards (FISSS). SSCs collaborate with one another, for example, ScreenSkills and Skills for Health worked together to develop training to help film and television production return safely to production after the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Skills for Care and Development (SfCD) is the SCC for adult social care and children and young people’s services in UK. It is an employer-led umbrella organisation for employers which have responsibility for skills and workforce development in the sector. The SCC has developed National Occupational Standards (NOS) - these are standards of practice that people must achieve when working in certain social service roles and include knowledge and understanding linked to that role. SfCD partner organisations adhere to shared principles for learning and qualifications in the care sector across the UK.
There is no legal requirement for employers to train and there is a lack of awareness among employers about SSCs. Furthermore, not all industry sectors are covered by SSCs. In addition, accessibility to SSCs tends to be lower amongst SMEs than among larger firms. The results of the latest survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (2009), mainly involving micro enterprises, revealed that: 71% of the respondents had never heard of SSCs; 90% did not know which SSC was related to their business; among those who knew about SSC, only 10% felt that the Councils' programmes were responsive to the needs of micro and small businesses.
Employees in standard employment
||Applies to all businesses||Does not apply to citizens|
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Role||Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative||Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
Sector Skills Agreement must be signed by social partners; trade unions are legally entitled to a seat on the board of all SSCs. SSCs work with a range of stakeholders; these include employers, trade unions and training providers.
Eurofound (2022), Sector Skills Councils, measure GB-2002-36/2512 (measures in United Kingdom), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/GB-2002-36_2512.html
30 January 2023
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12 September 2022
Although the worldwide pandemic situation had already disrupted supply chains and triggered increases in energy and food prices in 2021, the situation deteriorated in 2022 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.Article
12 September 2022
This article summarises the first policy responses that governments across the EU have started to implement to support companies affected by the rising prices, and those with commercial ties to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus.Article
Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.