Sense & Instability

Objective: To review skills and employment policy and use it to make recommendations to the Government and policymakers, ahead of the 2015 General Election.


A review of the skills and employment landscape in England over the past three decades.


The Research Base (research organisation) and sector workers, including senior civil servants.


January 2014 to October 2014.


Using the research, we challenged the political parties to address our core recommendations:

  • Better long-term planning for skills policy that is linked to viewing skills as a key part of long-term development
  • Greater coherence between central Government policy-making and local implementation
  • Greater scrutiny of changes to skills policy, to deliver better taxpayer value for money
  • Better checks and balances to remove the risks of politics influencing policy decisions


Six months after the launch of the report in October 2014, news articles about skills and stability increased eleven-fold (compared to the six months before the report). The report has been used, or referenced, by Lord Young, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), and the Policy Connect Network.

The Sense & Instability research had broad sector support, including from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), 157 Group, Association of Colleges (AoC), Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), and Lord Andrew Adonis.

Sense & Instability was shortlisted for the PR Moment Awards in the ‘Best Use of Research’ category.