The Covid-19 crisis and implications for skills development and the skills system

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Extant research suggests that investment in skills is likely to have a positive effects on productivity levels and growth rates. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruption to the education system and to workplace training. On the basis of experience of previous recessions, the most immediate impacts of the lockdown of the education system and the reduction in output in sectors such as hospitality, are likely to be felt by young people. In turn they are at risk of longer-term ‘scarring’ if subject to prolonged unemployment. This chapter explores key questions relating to skills development with implications for productivity, including: (1) How well equipped is the skills and learning system is to respond to the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic? (2) Does the crisis provide an opportunity to enact change in the skills system, and if so, what form might this take? (3) (How) does the crisis impact on the capacity of employers to take on young people on work experience, as apprentices, etc.? (4) (How) does the crisis impact on the change in skills and attributes employers require and what does this mean for workers and for lifelong learning?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProductivity and the Pandemic
Subtitle of host publicationChallenges and Insights from Covid-19
EditorsPhilip McCann, Tim Vorley
PublisherEdward Elgar, Cheltenham UK
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781800374607
ISBN (Print)9781800374591, 9781800374614
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2021


  • Skills
  • Education
  • Pandemic
  • COVID-19
  • Training
  • apprenticeship


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