The UK is experiencing signs of a continuing recovery, but achieving sustainable, long-term
growth and prosperity may require a deeper structural rebalancing of its economy. Since the
onset of the 2008 financial crisis, labour productivity has been exceptionally weak, with whole economy output per hour around 16 per cent below the level implied by the pre-crisis trend.

The availability of people with the skills businesses need to enable them to compete in international markets is critical to productivity and business profitability, and therefore a crucial condition of sustainable growth. Whilst qualifications are only one, imperfect, measure of skills, educational attainment is seen increasingly as a determinant of economic outcomes for individuals and economies.

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