Skills and employment in the UK: are we in limbo?

At least 6% more UK adults will be unemployed following the Covid-19 pandemic. The hardest hit are 18-30 yr-olds and women over 50. How is this shaping decisions being made right now?

In the After Corona? podcasts, we’re asking people how their lockdown experiences have shaped their thinking, and what they have learned about their industries and communities. We’re curious about post-traumatic growth, and how we turn painful disruption into a watershed moment for change.

Is the government serious about lifelong learning?

Boris Johnson has announced a pledge of life-long learning for all, as well as cash incentives for employers to take on apprentices, trainees and young people through the kickstart scheme.

Over 50% of adults enrol in vocational or technical education at some point, most employers rely on it to measure their staff’s knowledge of specific subjects, and it is a lifeline for many of the people who need bespoke support (eg. the niche skill professions, people with additional needs, the elderly, the unemployed, the imprisoned and on).

So why has it been so drastically underfunded for decades, and so scoffed at as the scruffy relation to a university education (which is undertaken by c. 32% of adults)?

After Corona?

In this After Corona podcast episode, we’ve got a few personal reflections from people on a mission to help people find meaningful learning pathways to work, and for that work to be accessible to everyone – not just the well-heeled or well-connected. All contributions are given in a personal capacity.

Expert guests in this episode:

Elizabeth Bailey
Head of Careers & Widening Participation – Medic Mentor
Sam Rhodes
Employability & Skills Project Coordinator – East Sussex County Council
Debbie Bennett
Manager – Essex and Suffolk Children’s Universities
Nick Fenn
Principal – Aldridge Adult Learning


Careers East Sussex Virtual Careers Week

always possible has teamed up with Careers East SussexSkills East SussexCulture Shift and Sussex STEM to curate a programme of virtual careers events with leading employers and industry innovators.

Short talks >> Interview tips >> Local data >> Q&As >> Recruitment secrets >> How to bag a dream apprenticeship

24th May 2021
science, technology, engineering & mathematics
>> 10-11am For 14-24 year olds  >> 2-3pm For adults changing career 

25th May 2021
the creative industries
>> 10-11am For 14-24 year olds  >> 2-3pm For adults changing career

26th May 2021
construction and the built environment
>> 10-11am For 14-24 year olds  >> 2-3pm For adults changing career

27th May 2021
health & social care
>> 10-11am For 14-24 year olds  >> 2-3pm For adults changing career

Careers and employability in the spotlight

There is innovation and investment in high quality support for college leavers and jobseekers across the UK. Decades of underfunding, and patchy infrastructure, has slowed it down – but we support the attempts to think bigger, and to focus on the deep skillsets needed for the future of UK PLC, and not just the jobs that want filling quickly.

always possible helps brilliant organisations make decisions about technical training, labour market intervention and employment skills project design.

West Sussex Council : Skills Commission

West Sussex reports

We spent six months last year, getting under the skin of the COVID-19 economic fallout in West Sussex and the impact on employment, the labour market and skills gaps.

Two comprehensive reports have been published asking WHERE ARE WE NOW? and WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? with over 34 recommendations, drawn from the insight of 50 businesses, local authorities, colleges, universities and networks.

The Careers & Enterprise Company

Rewrite The Story Become an Enterprise Advisor

The Careers & Enterprise Company recently launched their national #RewriteTheStory campaign. The aim is to recruit thousands of new Enterprise Advisors to help schools rewrite the way young people learn about the world of work. The always possible team delivered the campaign brand, videos, imagery, messaging and a comprehensive style guide.

Aimee Higgins from The Careers & Enterprise Company recently spoke to always possible’s Richard Freeman about the campaign. Watch below.

Different perspectives on education and skills

// Practical science and art in lockdown

Last October always possible kickstarted a Big Education Conversation in Essex as part of our work on Essex 2020 – Year of Science + Creativity. The roundtable discussion, for educators and youth workers, asked ‘how can we keep science and creativity practical, even though education and learning has been so disrupted?’.

Panel members from: New Art SchoolghScientificChelmsford Science & Engineering SocietySouthend TechMatipo ArtsSignals + more

 (117 minute watch)


// Michael Rosen on what matters in education

Earlier this year we spoke to Michael Rosen about recovery from COVID-19 and his latest book; but also about the education system. His open letters to Gavin Williamson and tweeted opinions are rarely out of newspapers’ education pages.

 (39 minute listen)


// Is the games industry the future for our smartest children?

Into Games CEO Declan Cassidy speaks to always possible’s Richard Freeman about his ground-breaking initiative for making the games industry more diverse, and more open to ambitious young people.

 (18 minute watch)


// The state of FE and HE after the pandemic

Fairly early on in the pandemic we put out a call to those working in education institutions to answer our questions about the challenges of life and work under lockdown. It’s quite fascinating to listen back to that time when there was so much uncertainty surrounding the virus and hope for the future.

 (44 minute listen)


// Charlotte Church on why she built her own school

At a time when almost every parent had been unexpectedly thrust into the role of teacher, music legend Charlotte Church spoke to us about her own journey in home-schooling which led to her establishing a free school right in her own home in 2019. Charlotte also had some strong opinions on the traditional education system and inspectorate framework.

 (50 minute listen)


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