Aiming high: An 80% employment rate and how to deliver it


Learning and Work Institute has previously argued for the UK to aim for an 80% employment rate for 16-64 year olds. Doing so is essential given an aging population, and would bring a £23 billion economic prize.

We’ve made substantial progress increasing employment before, but restarting progress will require a decade-long effort to widen employment support, join up work, health and skills, and work with employers on how they recruit and retain people.

This briefing sets out what an 80% employment rate would mean, why it’s important and how to get there. It calls for actions to:

  • Extend and integrate help to find work to all who are out of work
  • Better integrate public services to meet people’s needs
  • Work with employers on job design, recruitment and job retention
  • Devolve with an outcome-focused, strategic state