This was the second meeting organised by Wilton Park and Bertelsmann Stiftung in the Germany Dialogues series. It addressed how the UK and Germany can create a workforce of the future to support competitiveness and innovation in the global economy.
The UK and Germany face a similar challenge in ensuring that the skills of existing and future workforces match the needs of their wider economies in an increasingly competitive global economy.
The UK government, business community and trade unions have all acknowledged the need to rebalance the British economy towards one with greater manufacturing and exports to promote economic growth. The corresponding need for skilled employees has led to a renewed recognition of the importance of education, workplace training and professional development.
Germany has long maintained a globally competitive export sector based on high quality manufacturing. However long standing policy, driven by consensus among industry and government, does not include provision for emerging sectors of the German economy, whilst workforce demands for higher wages continue to grow.
This conference provided an opportunity for policy makers and experts, the business community and employee representatives to discuss the creation and maintenance of skilled workforces in the UK and Germany and also provided the opportunity to identify opportunities for practical and achievable policy innovation.