Labour’s return: Implications for skills and development

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Labour’s election victory reshapes the UK workplace: implications for skills, technology, safety, and mental health

The Labour Party will be in Government after the 2024 UK election, for the first time in 14 years. But what does it mean for people, skills and development in organisations?

The Labour Party’s win yesterday is an opportunity for the education and skills system

Nicola Hay MBE

Technology and skills

British Safety Council’s Chairman Peter McGettrick said, “We want to see people’s health, safety and wellbeing at the heart of future economic growth, and we will be looking to Labour to deliver on its promises to improve employment conditions as well as support businesses to succeed and grow. New and emerging technologies not only open up new prospects for greater prosperity and efficiencies, they can also help to protect people and prevent risks, but we must make sure we regulate and govern them well.”

We know that trusting technology like ChatGPT can be a challenge, and that some companies are “AI-washing… where companies misleadingly tag their products with the label of artificial intelligence to capitalise on AI’s current market appeal. We also need to recognise that “When the party left office in 2010, it did so in a world in which Instagram, TikTok, ChatGPT, Uber and 4G – let alone 5G – internet services did not yet exist,” reports our sister publication Public Technology.

Michael Stull, Managing Director at ManpowerGroup UK, said, “Better skills, leading to better quality jobs that provide sustainable earning potential, work-life balance, and wellbeing – done in ways that can be equitably accessed and shared by all – are, in our view, what’s needed to deliver a more inclusive and dynamic labour market. Under Labour’s new leadership, the UK’s transition towards the new-look economy of the future is a priority that we and others are eager to explore.”


Nichola Hay MBE, Director of Apprenticeships at Strategy at BPP, said: “The Labour Party’s win yesterday is an opportunity for the education and skills system. Growth will likely be the number one focus for the new government, and skills policy is central to that goal.” Nicola wrote for Training Journal about the Labour proposal of Skills England and how it needs to be clearly defined.

Hay has a stark reminder that, “Key to Labour’s plans for skills is its proposed Growth and Skills Levy. Labour must ensure it consults with employers and providers before implementing any changes to the levy to make sure it works across the workforce regardless of age or skill level.”

Gareth Jones, Managing Director of In-Comm Training, says of apprenticeships, “To be fair to the Conservatives, they did put apprenticeships back on the map and reignite its credibility among learners, parents and employers. This was no small feat, but now the baton has been passed to Labour to build on this evolution and there have already been some big promises leading up to this election – widening the scope of the Apprenticeship Levy would be a very welcome move for example.”

Jones continued, “Industry requires a long-term strategy to build trust and give companies confidence to invest. To have a strong economy we must be making product – I’ve said it for years, yet many companies are dying with their owners choosing to retire rather than succession planning. We want a strong industrial sector with pathways to jobs for all.”


On the topic of mental health and wellbeing Sarah McIntosh, speaking on behalf of Mental Health First Aid England said, “With 1 in 4 of us experiencing a mental health problem each year, more than 1.9 million people in England currently waiting for mental health care, and suicide rates rising, the new Government must act fast to save lives. We look forward to working with the Government on their pledges to deliver:

  • Reform of the Mental Health Act

  • Funding to support hubs for young people”

McIntosh continues, “MHFA England will continue to raise our voice, alongside charities, not for profits, social enterprises and public and private sector organisations, to ensure that the Government prioritises the mental health of the nation. The Government has the mandate to create change for those impacted by poor mental health, we hope they act on it.”

Find out more about the implications of the UK general election on TJ’s sister websites PoliticsHome, Civil Service World and Public Technology