Everybody has the right to a good standard of living, with better job opportunities. Economic prosperity is required if our country is to prosper and our businesses must therefore offer a high standard of products that consumers throughout the world want, at the prices they are prepared to pay. For this, we need a workforce equipped with suitable skills and education within a framework to support them.
To meet the challenges of sustainable development, we need a skilled and adaptable labour force and a flexible labour market. To promote jobs and employment, better education and training are essential. In a world which is changing rapidly, people need the skills to adapt, and opportunities to update them throughout their lives.
At the same time, goods and services should be produced in ways which reward work, and treat employees fairly. We cannot base our economy on low wages and long hours for workers. To do so risks damaging family life and limiting people’s ability to become involved in their own communities.
The UK Government’s policies are based on promoting life long learning, investing in education and skills, making work pay, and helping people from welfare to work – creating a culture of ‘work for those who can, security for those who cannot’. In that way, the number of people able to take up employment will increase, allowing the economy to grow without running into skills shortages and wage inflation, which would threaten sustainable development. Helping people into the labour market and improving skills levels is the best way to reduce poverty and social exclusion, and promotes sustainable communities based on employment rather than welfare.