Television advert launched to encourage investment in skills

A television ad campaign to encourage employers and individuals to gain better skills is being screened on ITV1.

Driven by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and the new Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, the advert is part of the nationwide multimedia campaign ‘Our Future: It’s in our hands’.

The campaign aims to encourage people to “take control” of their lives by investing in basic numeracy and literacy skills and qualifications.

The television ad will accompany posters on public transport, and ‘goodie bags’ handed out at busy London stations to raise awareness. The campaign itself will run for three to five years.

LSC chairman Chris Banks said: “Today is about an even stronger message for skills – a clearer message for employers and individuals about the need to carry on learning.

“The campaign is about bringing about a change in attitudes to learning.”

The advertorial drive to step up skills comes seven months after the Leitch Review on skills, which warned that five million adults in the UK have no qualifications. Lord Leitch recommended that all employers should commit to train their staff to level 2 by 2010 to address an otherwise “bleak” future.

Banks added: “The campaign aims to deliver on many of Leitch’s recommendations – it is the shared responsibility of government and employers [to invest in] skills training.”

John Denham, innovation, universities and skills secretary, said: “If you are an employer you can simply look to someone else to take the responsibility for raising the skills of the people that want to work for you. But [for] employers that share the responsibility, we will give them the support they need.”

The advert

The television advert is aimed primarily at potential students of all sectors and ages. It begins by telling the story of the creation of life, and asks viewers to take their lives into their own hands by investing in skills. It features a series of painted hands making shapes like tulips or mountains.

Employers can expect to see an advert targeted purely at them on 16 July. This will feature the same imagery, but with a different story. Apparently, the hands will create the shape of a moving vehicle, urging employers to reach a skills destination.

Denham added: “It is the most ambitious marketing and communications campaign of its kind.”

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