Brit-Indian man appointed as the Chairman for a new independent commission on lifelong learning

Rupanjana Dutta Monday 19th March 2018 13:43 EDT

The Lib Dem party leader, Dr Vince Cable has appointed Rajay Naik, the Chief Executive of Keypath Education and a former Director of the Open University as the Chairman of a 'major' independent commission on lifelong learning, a newly formed role.

This recently launched commission is designed to investigate the “best ways” to make sure adults have access to learning and retraining throughout their lives in the UK.

The commision promises to consider strong ideas such as individual learning accounts, which they believe “could offer adults a pot of money to be used to pay for upskilling and retraining opportunities, ensuring people are able to stay up-to-date with technological advances and changes in the job market”.

It will also consider options to increase access to online learning, part-time study and retraining services. The commission was created after the Government announced plans to launch a National Retraining Scheme (NRS) in the last autumn budget, when Chancellor Philip Hammond alloted £64 million for pilots.

Commenting on the Commission, Sir Vince Cable - the former Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills - said: “We recognise that fast paced economic and technological change will have a dramatic impact on the job market in future. People could find themselves having to retrain and change career several times through their working lives, as industries evolve with developments in automation and AI. We embrace innovation and the positive changes technology can bring. But we also know that this can cause real concern to people who may see their jobs change dramatically over the course of their careers.

“Rajay Naik brings exceptional national and international expertise in higher and further education. I know that he and his team will be working hard to bring forward creative, costed and ambitious proposals to ensure that our workforce is resilient in the face of major change, and that we offer opportunities for people to retrain and upskill throughout their lives.” 

In the past, Naik, who is of Indian-origin has served on the government’s National Careers Council, Digital Skills Commission, Learning and Skills Council and UK-ASEAN Business Council. He is currently on the board of the UBS Foundation, New Payment Systems Operator and Ditchley Foundation.

Speaking after the announcement, Naik told Asian Voice: “With major technological and societal change transforming the nature of work, it is imperative that all people have the skills they need to thrive in the modern world.Ensuring that they can retrain for new industries throughout their life, is critically important to our nation’s competitiveness. If more people, from all financial and socioeconomic backgrounds can succeed, it makes us all better off. I very much looking forward to hearing the views of experts, organisations and citizens across the country, and bringing forward recommendations which enable more peopleto work, earn and learn.”

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