There are few more satisfying ways to spend eight hours than working with colleagues and customers to solve problems and make things happen. Work should be, and often is, much more than a way to earn a living. By working together well, individuals contribute to the productivity of the economy and success of society, improve the lives of colleagues and customers, and realise their own creative potential.
This is enabled by everyone coming out of the public employment and skills system being able to work in a team, communicate clearly, listen well, be interested and keen to learn, take criticism, solve problems, read, write and add. These employability skills are the lubricant of our increasingly complex and interconnected workplace. They are not a substitute for specific knowledge and technical skills: but they make the difference between being good at a subject and being good at doing a job.In 2009, too few people have these skills. Business has been asking for them for twenty years. There are many initiatives underway that aim to meet this need. There is, nevertheless, a long way to go.

The theme of employability skills, however, is one to which we will return again and again. We are in this for the long haul. We are going to examine, and catalyse change in every part of the system: learners, learning professionals, institutions, employers, assessment, funding and policy. We are determined to see change for the better.