The jobs market is an unforgiving place for those who arrive underqualified. Low qualifications make unemployment more likely, depress earning potential, and undermine the home learning environment.
By improving their qualifications later in life, adults can start to redress these challenges. Even brushing up on basic skills pays dividend. And there is a clear positive relationship between higher-level qualifications and earning potential. There is room for skills growth in existing roles (a quarter of workers in the UK are underqualified for their jobs, and 11.3 million adults do not have the full set of basic digital skills), and prior to the current pandemic, hundreds of thousands of vacancies were hard to fill because employers could not find people with the right skills.